Thailand

Thailand

Platform: The National Zoonosis/Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Committee, chaired by the deputy prime minister, and the One Health Coordinating Unit (OHCU), serving a coordination and secretariat function, were founded in 2013.

Stakeholders: Agencies represented on the National Committee, who are responsible for implementing the National Strategic Plan for emerging infectious disease preparedness and response, include the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Thai Red Cross.

Thailand has the region’s most developed platform with an organizational structure supported by a new law on emerging infectious diseases (2016); coordination mechanisms at both national and provincial levels funded by the government; a memorandum of understanding of support from seven ministries that was updated in 2016; and a recently completed five-year strategic plan. The OHCU is located in the Ministry of Public Health Bureau of Emerging Infectious Diseases. In response to an unusual increase in HPAI within Asia and reported clusters of poultry die-off within Thailand, the OHCU organized a tabletop exercise in early 2017, with support from P&R and other EPT-2 partners, to test their readiness to respond to a large outbreak. The exercise highlighted several key areas for improvement, including the need for a risk communications focal point and the lack of clarity in the activation of the provincial-level incident command system. In the coming year, P&R will support the OHCU to develop provincial-level models of One Health implementation and engage the Bureau of Wildlife Conservation in greater participation in One Health activities, beginning with greater coordination of surveillance information sharing with the human health and livestock sectors.

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P&R Experts

Southeast Asia Director

Dr. Pasakorn Akarasewi serves as P&R’s regional director in Southeast Asia. He joined the project with almost 40 years of experience in field epidemiology, disease prevention and control, and One Health. Prior to his work with P&R, Dr. Akarasewi worked with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health, directing both their management of the Global Fund and collaboration with CDC, after serving as their Director of their Bureau of Epidemiology in the Department of Disease Control. He holds his medical doctorate from Chiangmai University.

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