(Phnom Penh) - Last week, the WCS Cambodia Wildlife Health Program organized a final meeting for the DTRA-supported WildHealthNet initiative. The purpose of the meeting was to share WildHealthNet activities and achievements over the last 3 years and discuss opportunities for network partners to maintain wildlife health surveillance during this transition to ensure long-term sustainability of the network.
WildHealthNet was initiated in late 2018 with the objective to support capacity building within government agencies to implement a Wildlife Health Surveillance Network in the Lower Mekong Region (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) in order to detect, monitor, and report especially dangerous pathogens in wildlife. Since July 2019, over 100 wildlife mortality and morbidity events have been detected across the country and over 400 network participants have been trained. Some accomplishments include the detection of African swine fever in wild boar, multi-sector One Health response to highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 outbreaks, and collaboration with the animal health department for a lumpy skin disease vaccination campaign in cattle to protect endangered wild ruminants.
This meeting was an opportunity for network participants to reflect on the development of the Wildlife Health Surveillance Network in Cambodia and how it can be sustained in the future through ongoing collaboration and engagement across government agencies and One Health partners.