17 March 2016 – The One Health (OH) Strategy Workshop was held in Nay Pyi Taw on 09 and 10 March 2016 with the purpose to facilitate the development of a OH Strategy for Myanmar. Expected outputs were that key sector stakeholders will be able to describe the OH concept; key OH topics for Myanmar will be identified and ranked; and a roadmap for drafting a OH Strategy will be agreed.
The event was organized by the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Myanmar Programme with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It brought together specialists from the three key sectors for One Health, that is, human health, animal health and environment. The One Health Tripartite of WHO, FAO and OIE was also present with representatives from the FAO-ECTAD Asia Regional Office in Bangkok, the WHO Sub-Regional Office in New Delhi and the OIE Sub-Regional Office in Bangkok.
His Excellency U Ohn Myint, the Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development opened the meeting. In his address he said “Since 2006, we have the experienced H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in Myanmar. Starting from at that time, our Ministry, Ministry of Health , stakeholders, International Organizations, local organizations collaborated together to fight against that H5N1. I hope so, this was the beginning of the One Health vision. I firmly believe that out of today’s workshop, the people present here will be able to share valuable information and elaborate strategic planning and comments that will contribute towards more effective collaboration and cooperation from Animal Health sector, Human Health sector and Wildlife sector in helping protect lives of humans, animals and wildlife.”
For the Minister of Health, the Department of Public Health (DoPH) Director General, Dr Soe Lwin Nyein, said, “Many of the emerging infectious diseases are highly infectious and animal origin accounts for 70%. Myanmar is growing fast in terms of social and economic development. Trade, travel and tourism sectors become more developed with these positive transformations, increasing the cross-border movement of humans, animals and products. This leads to higher risk of transmission of communicable diseases including avian influenza”.
Speakers at the Opening Ceremony included the WHO Representative, Dr Jorge Luna, the FAO Representative, Ms Bui Thi Lan and the USAID Mission Director Office of Health, Dr William Slater. International OH experts from India, Bangladesh and Thailand also attended.
The workshop presentations and group work covered:
- National perspectives and priorities
- One Health Tripartite (WHO, FAO, OIE) perspectives on OH in the Myanmar context
- Key One Health Topics in Myanmar
- One Health National Strategy Approaches in Bangladesh and Thailand
- Recommendations and Roadmap to Myanmar One Health National Strategy
As a way forward, One Health priority topics for Myanmar were agreed. These were antimicrobial resistance and six priority zoonotic diseases/syndromes, i.e. i) rabies, ii) zoonotic influenza, iii) tuberculosis, iv) food-borne diseases, v) anthrax, and vi) Japanese encephalitis. For the national strategy document agreement was reached on proposed outline and a roadmap to achieve it. The roadmap defines milestones with target dates to develop the strategy in the coming year.