FAO-USAID, Gov't Address Emerging Pandemic Threat in Indonesia

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  • FAO Representative in Indonesia Stephen Rudgard, Director General of Livestock and animal health Services Ministry of Agriculture I Ketut Dyarmita and Deputy mission Director Ryan Washburn exchanges souvenir as a symbol for a strong collaboration and partnership.

    FAO Representative in Indonesia Stephen Rudgard, Director General of Livestock and animal health Services Ministry of Agriculture I Ketut Dyarmita and Deputy mission Director Ryan Washburn exchanges souvenir as a symbol for a strong collaboration and partnership.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating four years of cooperation in fighting global zoonotic diseases (transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa) and Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) together with the Ministry of Agriculture Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services. Since 2016, the Emerging Pandemic Threats or EPT-2 program has supported the Government to minimize and control threats to Indonesia’s health security. The celebration takes place in Jakarta today, September 12.

    This collaboration promotes the inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral One Health (OH) approach to zoonotic disease prevention and control, whereby different sectors work together for optimal health outcomes. The program aims to prevent, detect and respond to zoonotic diseases and EIDS threats through the Agriculture Ministry's collaboration with several related ministries and agencies i.e. the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), veterinary and medical professional organizations, universities, and international agencies such as FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO). Coordination of the EPT-2 program was provided by the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture (Kemenko PMK).

    The main target of collaboration between USAID, FAO and the Agriculture Ministry was the prevention of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAIv) that severely affected Indonesia between 2003 and 2014, when 167 people and around 16.2 million poultry died. This made Indonesia the country with the largest number of human and animal deaths in the world with a total estimated loss of more than US$400 million.

    Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative in Indonesia, states that Indonesia is a successful example of prevention, detection and response to global health threats from zoonotic and emerging diseases by initiating and institutionalizing cross-sectoral cooperation using the One Health approach.

    "The success of Indonesia in dealing with the threat of zoonoses and EID has also received great attention from the Government, especially the President, with the issuance of Presidential Instruction No. 4/2019 which mandates the improvement of capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic diseases, global pandemics, and nuclear, biological and chemical emergencies," said Rudgard today.

    The Agriculture Ministry-FAO cross-sectoral collaboration on zoonotic disease prevention and control has been implemented through the Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) program in partnership with USAID.

    The Ministry welcomed the significant work achievements realized during the past four years.

    "The results of our collaboration with the USAID/FAO EPT-2 program, include a significant decrease in highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) cases, both in humans and poultry, increased capability of the ministry's epidemiologists to detect zoonotic diseases, and increased cross-ministry engagement in controlling emerging diseases in the field," said I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of Livestock and Animal Health Services, Ministry of Agriculture.

    Deputy Mission Director Ryan Washburn acknowledged the Government of Indonesia for the important steps it has taken to implement the One Health approach consistently.

    “The U.S. Government through USAID has partnered for over 13 years to advance Indonesia’s self-reliance in disease control and prevention. While Indonesia continues to remain a disease hotspot in the region, its commitment to implementing a One Health approach is leading to improvements in its prevention, detection, and response capabilities. We are proud to reflect on these successes in light of the 70th anniversary of U.S.-Indonesia relations,” Ryan explained.

    FAO's Stephen Rudgard hopes that the Ministry of Agriculture and related Ministries, partners, universities, and international organizations will expand the existing EPT-2 project work in the future to ensure the prevention and control of zoonoses and EIDS in Indonesia, thus protecting health and livelihoods.

    FAO | TEMPO