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FAO ECTAD and the Government of Indonesia prepare for the new EDiT-next gen framework


The New Year 2019 brings FAO ECTAD to the final year of its Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) project in Indonesia. But, efforts to prevent and control transboundary animal diseases will continue with a newly initiated project framework named Emerging Disease Threats – Next Generation (EDiT-Next Gen) with funding support from USAID. This framework is in line with the One Health resolution of the FAO Asia Pacific Regional Stakeholders Collaboration Meeting of 2017. In preparation for the new initiative, FAO ECTAD is engaged in close consultation with the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services, Ministry of Agriculture (DGLAHS MoA) to align this new international framework to the Indonesian context and priority animal health needs.

Dr Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, PhD, Director of Animal Health, DGLAHS MoA appreciated the important contributions of FAO ECTAD throughout EPT-2, such as the scientific studies that helped the government in formulating diseases responses. “With the closing of EPT-2 and the upcoming EDiT-Next Gen program, we certainly hope to sustain efforts developed under EPT-2 and continue to flourish, while proposing novel and innovative approaches to fit Indonesia’s changing needs and overcome new Asia Pacific regional challenges,” said Tjatur Rasa during the EDiT-Next Gen Planning Workshop in Jakarta, on 10 January 2019.

FAO ECTAD – the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases – has been working with the Government of Indonesia (GoI) since 2006, just after the country was severely hit by H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Over the last ten years, Indonesia’s comprehensive efforts have succeeded in significantly reducing the number of HPAI cases. As more infectious diseases have emerged within the last decade, such as swine flu, Nipah, Zika, MERS-CoV and Ebola, FAO ECTAD has expanded its portfolio to strengthen capacity and preparedness to prevent and respond to these emerging zoonotic diseases.

Throughout these twelve years of partnership, both FAO and the DGLAHS have realized that the priority needs of the country have evolved. Consequently, the Next Generation project should endeavour to address those needs and overcome the remaining challenges. Dr James McGrane, FAO ECTAD Team Leader highlighted that the new project requires stronger inter-sectoral collaboration with more involvement of the private sector. “Indonesia’s strong commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) will only be realised by close collaboration between all related ministries using the One Health approach. New or expanded One Health initiatives and novel technology will be the hallmark of the proposed EDiT-Next Gen project”

During the two workshops on 10-11 and 17-18 January, more than fifty participants from DGLAHS-MoA and multi-sectoral representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Home Affairs, along with private sector actors and FAO ECTAD engaged in dynamic discussions to formulate a draft strategic work plan for EDiT-Next Gen. Multisectoral coordination was seen as pivotal in helping Indonesia fulfil its strong commitment to the results of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) on the International Health Regulations (IHR). While reflecting on the achievements of the EPT-2 project and the twelve years of partnership, they refocused on four main output areas, namely: 1. Disease Surveillance and Risk Identification; 2. Zoonoses and EID Prevention and Control; 3. Laboratory Diagnostic Systems; and 4. Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Usage (AMR/AMU).

During the workshop, Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative in Indonesia reiterated FAO’s strong commitment to support the Government of Indonesia in achieving its national priorities and international commitments. He believes the joint EDiT-Next Gen initiative should involve multiple stakeholders including civil society and the private sector, thus bringing benefits to the people of Indonesia at large. “As its name suggests, EDiT-Next Gen should engender sustainability, thus the impacts of emerging disease threats prevention and control can benefit the next generation of the country,” Rudgard added.