On January 22, 2015, representatives from P&R attended a EPT-2 partners meeting in Vientiane, where they met with NEIDCO and other Lao PDR Ministry officials hosting the event. Other participants at this meeting included RDMA, PREDICT-2, OHW, CDC, DTRA, WHO, and FAO. Subsequently, P&R and OHW staff met individually with RDMA, NEIDCO leadership (Dr. Bounlay), and the FET Coordinator to discuss EPT-2 collaboration and P&R focus.
In March 2015, P&R staff attended additional meetings with Dr. Bounlay, FET Coordinators, and USAID Mission staff to further define possible areas of P&R collaboration on work planned for year one - including, for example, a simulation exercise as part of a needs assessment, collaborating on steps to operationalize the new Emergency Operations Center, and strengthen provincial OH capacity of RRTs for preparedness and outbreak response. In addition, in April 2015 Lao PDR sent three participants from human and animal health sectors to attend the TEPHINET International Night/EIS Conference in Atlanta and participate in the P&R workshop in Washington DC.
For the last six months, P&R had conducted consultation meetings and interactions with senior government officials and One Health stakeholders in the country, which include senior Lao PDR health officials and NEIDCO leadership along with WHO, FAO, USAID-RDMA, USAID Vientiane, DTRA/DOD and US CDC. Meetings focused on priority zoonotic disease prevention and control activities, and collaboration with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Wildlife Authority, and national laboratories.
From the information gathered, P&R was able to formulate a year two work plan, which will assist NEIDCO to design and conduct a simulation exercise and needs assessment. NEIDCO specifically requested assistance to improve its effectiveness and sustainability as the National One Health Platform (NOHP) in Laos, and to improve collaboration and communication with provincial governmental units responsible for coordinating initial response to emergencies and epidemics at district and community levels.
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