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Legal Instruments Needed to Strengthen PELVI Implementation

Dr. Luuk Schoonman Chief Technical Advisor of FAO ECTAD Indonesia presenting FAO contribution to Veterinary Epidemiology Capacity Building in ASEAN

The Field Epidemiology Training Programme for Veterinarians (FETPV), known as PELVI (Program Epidemiologi Lapangan Untuk Veteriner Indonesia) in Indonesia was launched in May 2017. In order to determine concrete steps for the implementation of the programme, which has been discussed between the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO ECTAD Indonesia since 2015, a meeting with stakeholders was held in Tangerang, Banten on 27-28 November 2017. At the meeting, critical steps that need to be taken to guarantee the sustainability of the programme, which will have seed funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were discussed.

The presentation of the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services (DGLAHS) revealed that PELVI has entered the training module preparation stage, in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM). This collaboration is based on UGM’s experience with the Ministry of Health’s Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) in Indonesia.

The head of the DGLAHS Animal Disease Surveillance Sub-directorate, Drh Makmun Msc, said that the programme will be implemented through three different modalities: bimtek (technical guidance), epidemiology training, and a degree programme at universities. “We have discussed the opportunity to implement PELVI through the graduate programme at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in UGM. We hope it can be done during the 2018/2019 academic year,” Makmun said.

PELVI is a critically important programme for Indonesia, since the country is recognised as one of the “hotspots” for zoonoses and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in Asia. PELVI is considered the most efficient and effective approach to improving veterinary epidemiology capacity in Indonesia. During the meeting, it was agreed that legal protection for PELVI implementation and sustainability in the form of a Directorate General Decree to establish PELVI, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DGLAHS, UGM, and other stakeholders are needed.

Dr James McGrane, FAO ECTAD Team Leader recalled that as an in-service training programme, PELVI should be based in the Ministry of Agriculture, while having strong linkages and collaboration with Universities, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in view of One Health considerations. Pre-service or undergraduate training in epidemiology should also be strengthened to build capacity of the future One Health workforce, but this is clearly the role of the Universities.

“PELVI should work closely with and share resources with the Indonesian human health FETP programme, which was established at the Ministry of Health back in 1982. Many components of the two programmes can be shared and this will build the One Health approach with other sectors, which is essential to address today’s global health threats,” stated Dr McGrane.
PELVI is expected to help improvement of public health through early detection and response to zoonotic diseases through outbreak detection, investigation, evidence-based science and sound epidemiology.

PELVI’s mission is to create veterinarians and animal health workers with field epidemiology capacity through skill-based trainings. FETPV-trained staff can then make animal disease control decisions based on field evidence, thus protecting the livestock economy, safeguarding public health, and serving rural communities.

The implementation of PELVI in the Ministry of Agriculture will broaden knowledge and application of the multi-disciplinary One Health approach to disease ecology, epidemiology and disease control. It will harmonise public health, animal health, and environmental health collaboration to bridge the gaps in standardizing data gathering methodologies, including field outbreak investigation (studies), and how those studies are designed and carried out, and improve the application of risk analysis in animal disease surveillance and control. (END)