To kick off the SEAOHUN 2022 International Conference, a One Health site visit to Chonburi province was organized for 40 participants on 5 September. Hosted by the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Center (TRC EIDCC), King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and School of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, the visit started at Wat Luang Phrommawat, a Buddhist temple and a home to Lyle's flying foxes (Pteropus lylei). The flying foxes, while critical to the ecosystem, is a natural reservoir of Nipah virus. In Thailand, Nipah virus was first found in 2002 but there is no report of infection in pigs or humans. The visit included a brief presentation from the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University on the foods these bats eat and how data related to them are collected using high-resolution GPS tracking. Safe and effective techniques to collect pooled bat urine samples to test for #Nipahvirus were demonstrated. After visiting Wat Luang Phrommawat, the group continued to Wat Luang health promoting hospital where the host Institutes and Ecohealth Alliance presented Nipah virus surveillance in Thailand, and how bats and humans can live safely together. The visit demonstrated One Health approach in action and the importance of practitioners from different disciplines collaborating together to protect humans, animals, and their shared environment.
"The field visit adds flavor to a conference as it is hands-on and practical for participants to learn the practical application of One Health approach." - Christine Muhumuza, AFROHUN
On the same day, 36 delegates of the SEAOHUN 2022 International Conference from 10 countries visited the Department of Disease Control (DDC), Thailand Ministry of Public Health on 5 September 2022 to learn about Thailand's exemplar journey in addressing current and preventing future pandemics. We thanked Dr. Sopon Iamsirithaworn, Deputy Director General of the DDC, and his team for welcoming the delegates and sharing insights and lessons learned of Thailand’s detection, prevention, response and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. The delegates had a special opportunity to visit the Emergency Operations Center, the incident command center for monitoring outbreaks and managing responses. With continuous efforts to build a resilient national health system, Thailand ranked 5th in the 2021 Global Health Security Index.
"By joining the field visit to the Ministry of Public Health, I met with people from various backgrounds and countries and learned that applying the One Health Approach is essential to address health threats, including zoonoses." - Nur Azizah Azzahra