The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source

The Alliance Secretariat hosted the side event “The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source”, on Saturday 16th October at the World Health Summit 2022 in Berlin. The panelists represented various spheres within a One Health approach, emphasizing on a holistic perspective to bolster pandemic prevention at the source to reduce costs and provide co-benefits to climate and biodiversity.  

You may click on the following link to watch the recorded session on YouTube: 

WS 06 – The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source – YouTube 

Prof. Andy Dobson, Dr. Catherine Machalaba and Dr. Eckart v. Hirschhausen at the World Health Summit.
About the panelists: 

Prof. Dr. Andrew Dobson 

Princeton University | Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Professor | United States of America 

Jochen Flasbarth 

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | State Secretary | Germany 

Dr. Catherine Machalaba 

EcoHealth Alliance | Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Scientist | United States of America 

Dr. María Neira 

World Health Organization (WHO) | Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health | Director 

Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen 

Physician, Science Journalist, Founder of Healthy Planet – Healthy People Foundation and World Health Summit Ambassador | Germany 

Dr. María Neira and Jochen Flasbarth at World Health Summit 2022, Berlin, Germany & Digital, October 16-18, 2022. Photo: World Health Summit
About the event: 

Scientists calculate the cost of preventing further pandemics – via forest protection and improved wildlife trade regulation – over the next decade would amount to just 2% of the estimated financial damage caused by COVID-19. Such prevention strategies would also come with considerable co-benefits for climate and biodiversity. Research shows the proportion of pathogens crossing from one stage to the next, from pre-emergence to pandemic stage decreases as the costs for stopping those increases. In this inverse correlation: the earlier we prevent, the more cost-efficient it is. 

Yet attention is currently focused on later-stage prevention, preparedness and response. According to WHO’s Cristina Romanelli, only 3% of current efforts to stop future pandemics goes to primary prevention (pre-spillover), while the remaining 97% is invested in secondary prevention and preparedness measures. 

In the wake of immediate reactions to COVID-19 – most of which were taken under immense pressure to respond to and manage an ongoing crisis – many key actors, are now contemplating how to avoid and handle possible future pandemics more intelligently, efficiently and effectively. Considering this challenge, we ask: How can lessons learned from COVID-19 and primary prevention take a more prominent role in global responses to reduce the risk of future pandemics? What would such a policy path look like? And how might it incorporate regulations in line with WHO’s Manifesto (“Prescriptions for a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19”) that recognize the incredible opportunity for investments contributing to solving the triple, intersecting crises of health, climate and biodiversity? 

Recording: Expert Talk with Catherine Machalaba

March 29th 2022 at 14:30 – 15:45 CEST

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks. In moving from immediate crisis management of the ongoing global pandemic towards a more long-term perspective, many have realized that preventing future pandemic outbreaks will need to also address health risks in dealing with wildlife trade and potential spillover, and thus prevention at the source.

During this online session Dr. Catherine Machalaba gave insights into how to operationalize One Health approaches for more coordinated, preventive, and cost-effective systems that promote human, animal, and environmental health given their integral links. She elaborated on entry points, trade-offs and co-benefits when designing effective policy options, including land use changes, wildlife trade and livestock management, and where to start as a feasible minimum that has to be done.

About the Speaker

Catherine Machalaba is the Principal Scientist for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance. She was a lead author of the World Bank Operational Framework for Strengthening Human, Animal and Environmental Public Health Systems at their Interface (“One Health Operational Framework”) published in 2018 to assist countries and donor institutions in implementing One Health approaches. She is active in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including serving for 10 years as Program Officer for its Species Survival Commission’s Wildlife Health Specialist Group. She is also a member of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel to the FAO, OIE, UNEP, and WHO (OHHLEP). She holds a master’s degree in public health and a PhD in environmental and planetary health sciences. 

OIE Webinar “Global Wildlife Health”

Thursday, March 3rd 2022

World Wildlife Day aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. In 2022, the OIE will organize a webinar across five regions and in twelve different time zones, connecting wildlife health stakeholders globally. The webinar will be held in two sessions—eastern hemisphere and western hemisphere—and the three official OIE languages (English, French and Spanish).

The OIE is addressing challenges involving wildlife health through implementation of the OIE Wildlife Health Framework. They look to the global community to protect wildlife health to achieve One Health. Towards this goal, the OIE Regional Representation in Asia and the Pacific, in association with the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Eastern Africa and the OIE Regional Representation for the Americas, are organizing a webinar on “Global wildlife health” on World Wildlife Day in 2022.

OIE invites you to join the event, which will take place on Zoom® with livestreaming on YouTube®. Active participation from the live audience is encouraged.

Thursday 3 March 2022

  • Session 1 (in English and French)
    at 2am Buenos Aires / 6am Paris / 8am Nairobi / 2pm Tokyo  
  • Session 2 (in English, French and Spanish)
    at 11am Buenos Aires / 3pm Paris / 5pm Nairobi / 11pm Tokyo 

Participation

The event is open for participants globally. The target audience will be multi-sectoral participants with an interest in wildlife health. OIE particularly invites university students and young professionals to join the webinar. 

Agenda

Welcome            Dr Lesa Thompson, OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo

Opening remarks             Special guest speaker

Spotlight on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)        [Chair: Lesa Thompson]

  • Current and future OIE activities on wildlife
    Dr Keith Hamilton, Preparedness and Resilience Department, OIE headquarters, Paris
  • Global situation of wildlife disease surveillance
    Dr Mariana Delgado, Preparedness and Resilience Department, OIE headquarters, Paris
  • Early detection systems for wildlife
    Dr Yacinthe Guigma, EBO-SURSY, OIE Regional Representation for Africa, Bamako
  • Interactive session          Mentimeter® quiz & participant opinions

Wildlife health globe-trotting      [Chair: Patrick Bastiaensen]

  • Session introduction
    Dr Patrick Bastiaensen, OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Eastern Africa, Nairobi
  • Asia and the Pacific
    Dr Hirofumi Kugita, OIE Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo
  • African swine fever in wild pigs in Asia and the Pacific
    Dr Brendan Cowled, Executive Consultant and Director, AusVet, Canberra
  • Middle East
    Dr Ghazi Yehia, OIE Regional Representative for the Middle East, Beirut
  • Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in wildlife in the Middle East
    Dr Ahmad Al-Majali, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Al Ramtha, ‎Irbid‎
  • Europe
    Dr Budimir Plavsic, OIE Regional Representative for Europe, Moscow
  • Rabies in wildlife in Europe
    Dr. Maxim Sîrbu, National Food Safety Agency, Republic of Moldova, Chișinău

Break

  • Africa
    Dr Karim Tounkara, OIE Regional Representative for Africa, Bamako
  • Anthrax in wildlife in Africa
    Dr Augusta Kivunyza, Kitui County Veterinary Services, Kenya Zoonotic Diseases Unit, Nairobi
  • Americas
    Dr Luis Barcos, OIE Regional Representative for the Americas, Buenos Aires
  • White nose syndrome in the Americas
    Dr Jordi Segers, Scientific Coordinator Bats, Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Halifax

Ecosystem health and biodiversity     [Chair: Maria-Eugenia Chimenti]

  • Ecosystem health for biodiversity
    Dr Marcela Uhart, University of California Davis, OIE Working Group for Wildlife, Davis
  • Interactive session          Mentimeter® participant opinions & questions for speakers

Closing remarks               Dr Monique Eloit, OIE Director General, OIE headquarters, Paris

Close     Dr Maria-Eugenia Chimenti, OIE Regional Representation for the Americas, Buenos Aires

WILDLIFE DISEASE RISK ANALYSIS: ONLINE TRAINING COURSE

7 March – 29 April 2022

Applications are open for the Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis online training course developed by the IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG). In situations where disease is a direct threat to wildlife species conservation, or wildlife are implicated as a vector or reservoir of disease impacting domestic animals and/or people, a Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis can help decision-makers determine how best to respond. A structured Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis presents an opportunity for multiple stakeholders with varied interests to develop collaborative plans that benefit all those involved and ensure the conservation of threatened wildlife species. The course has been designed to equip participants with an understanding of how to put the IUCN Guidelines for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis into practice.

More information about the course and course application materials can be found here.

Registration closes on 18 February.

One Health Webinar – Selva Maya GIZ regional programme

February 2nd at 10:00 – 11:30 CST (Mx-GT-BZ)

You are invited to participate in the GIZ regional programme Selva Maya first One Health webinar and discuss with experts from academia and public institutions the importance of disease surveillance and primary prevention.

Recording: Expert Talk with Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar

January 18th at 16:30 – 17:45 CET

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife.

During this online session Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar shared their insights from investigating the links between wildlife and the emergence of human infectious zoonoses and EIDs. They are both lead authors of the upcoming “Situation analysis on the roles and risks of wildlife in the emergence of human infectious diseases” by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). As member of the Alliance, you may access their “Highlights” in the Alliance’s Library.

About the Speakers

Richard Kock is a wildlife veterinary ecologist, infectious disease researcher and conservationist and was co-chair of the IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group (2004-2021). He has worked almost entirely in the field of wildlife health and disease since 1980 with a focus on African and Asian ecosystems. He is on the WHO IHR and OIE Crisis Management Committee expert list, an Associate Research Fellow at Chatham House and past Council Member of the Wildlife Disease Association where he remains active on various task forces and committees, and is an adjunct Professor at Tufts University and Njala University. He holds a chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases, leading a research portfolio currently of £1.5 million pounds in the fields of wildlife health and zoonosis at the Pathobiology and Population Sciences Department at the Royal Veterinary College.

Hernán Cáceres-Escobar is a veterinarian and conservation scientist. He studies the links between anthropogenic-driven environmental change, biodiversity loss, and emerging infectious diseases. He uses transdisciplinary participatory approaches and modelling techniques to develop innovative evidence-based interventions and policies for an ever-changing world. He has a diverse international background and practical experience working with multi-cultural teams at the interface of science, policy, and practice with local and indigenous communities, government agencies, NGOs, IGOs, industry partners, and academics. In his current position at Sapienza University, he is combining his skills to explore how anthropogenic-driven environmental change affects disease hazards to create future scenarios of risk.

Session Recording

If you missed the presentation, you can find the recorded session here:

Recording: Expert Talk with Craig Stephen

December 6th at 16:30 – 17:45 CET

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife.

At this event Dr. Craig Stephen will share his insights from reviewing the evidence how to manage the risk of disease emergence in the wildlife trade. You may download the full review by the World Health Organization (OIE) from the Alliance’s Library. He will speak about how confronting the threat of emerging infectious diseases will require adaptive management that is multifaceted and searches for systemic solutions. One challenge clearly lies in reducing the threat of emerging diseases while concurrently improving health, equity, and well-being for all species.

Speaker

Craig Stephen DVM Phd is a veterinary epidemiologist who has worked in the realms of One Health and EcoHealth for the past 25 years. He is the former Executive Director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and currently holds two clinical professorships at the School of Population and Public Health (University of British Columbia) and the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Most recently, he has become the president of the McEachran Institute, a new think tank dedicated to making animal health professions “future-ready.” He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed and technical papers and has edited or co-edited 5 books related to One Health including; ‘Animals Health and Society; Health Promotion, Harm Reduction and Health Equity in a One Health World’ (CRC Press) , as well as upcoming books on ‘Wildlife Population Health’ (Springer Nature) and ‘Climate Change and Animal Health’ (CRC Press). Craig’s current academic focus is adapting concepts of harm reduction and health promotion for public health to wildlife and environmental health, developing and training One Health and Climate Change leaders, and developing One Health in practice. More information can be found at craigstephenconsulting.com 

Session Recording

If you missed Craig Stephen’s presentation, you can find the recorded session here:

Preventing the Next Pandemic: One Health, emerging infectious diseases and wildlife trade

Tuesday 28th September 12:00 – 13:30 CET Webinar hosted by MEP

About this Event

Wildlife around the globe is under intense pressure from human activity and over-exploitation.

Illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade, poor governance, and corruption have significant negative impacts on ecosystems (e.g. deforestation, forest degradation) and the loss of multiple wild species, affecting the integrity of whole ecosystems, contributing to climate change, and negatively impacting local livelihoods, economic development, and security.

The current COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks of zoonotic origin such as SARS and Ebola clearly demonstrate the critical need to apply a truly trans-sectoral One Health approach, as a matter of urgency. Efforts must be focused on preventing pandemics of zoonotic origin at their source – in other words, stopping them at the point of spillover of pathogens from animals to humans, well before they can become local outbreaks, epidemics, or global pandemics.

This webinar – organised by the MEPs for Wildlife in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Humane Society International/Europe (HSI) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – will discuss the on-the-ground impact of markets for live wildlife, particularly for human consumption, and associated wildlife trade (either from the wild or breeding facilities), the links to biodiversity, climate, security, and health and how to address these threats through an integrated One Health approach.

Programme

Welcome remarks

Hilde Vautmans, MEP, Chair of MEPs for Wildlife group

Short presentation

Prof. Dr. Chris Walzer, Executive Director, Health Program, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Moderated panel discussion

• Jorge Rodriguez Romero, Deputy Head of Unit, Multilateral Environmental Cooperation, DG Environment

• Dr. Bernard Van Goethem, Director, Crisis preparedness in food, animals and plants, DG SANTE

. Dr. Anne-Lise Chaber, One Health expert, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Adelaide

• Cristina Romanelli, Programme Officer for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization (WHO)

Moderator

Dr. Joanna Swabe, Senior Director of Public Affairs, Humane Society International – Europe

Concluding remarks

Catherine Bearder, former MEP and founding Chair of MEPs for Wildlife group