Sydney veterinary scientists helping communities around the Pacific

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Dr Victoria Brookes is Leading a project funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization to enhance disease surveillance and emergency responses to transboundary and emerging infectious diseases. Her work is across a number of nations in the Pacific, including Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa.

The goal of this program is to increase these nation’s abilities to respond quickly to highly-infectious animal diseases. Dr Brookes and her team are conducting a gap analysis – understanding where there is a need for further training, and then developing and delivering a “train-the-trainer” style online program.

“Our research has shown how important developing transboundary animal disease preparedness is for the Pacific Islands region to ensure nutritional and socio-economic security and protect people’s livelihoods.” said Dr Brookes.

With the arrival of FMD & lumpy skin disease in Indonesia this year, and African swine fever reaching Papua New Guinea in recent years, there is a heightened need for preparedness across Pacific Island countries for emergency animal disease (EAD) incursions, and training is a big part of that.