Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences

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CityU expert took part in FAO workshop to develop ‘Joint Risk Assessment Tools’ to aid collaboration between animal and human health sectors

11 January 2018

Prof. Pfeiffer (Director of the Centre for Applied One Health Research and Policy Advice and Chair Professor of One Health) participated in the Tripartite (FAO-OIE-WHO) technical workshop ‘Joint Risk Assessment: Development of Multisectoral Approach, Processes, and Tools’ hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 18 to 20 October 2017.

The workshop focused on developing tools to aid the collaboration between the animal and human health sectors when dealing with risk assessment for avian influenza and other zoonotic disease threats occurring at the animal-human interface. The workshop was jointly organised by FAO, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Risk assessments aimed at the animal-human interface are often very difficult to conduct due to the different terminology, approaches and processes used by the institutions responsible for animal and human health risk assessment and management. It is therefore important to develop tools and processes for joint risk assessment of zoonotic disease threats, which are adapted and agreed to by the animal and human health institutions. Avian influenza was used as an example of a zoonotic disease that is capable of being transmitting from animals to humans.

Prof. Pfeiffer (far left) taking part in the table top

At the workshop experts from the animal health and human health sectors from international and national organisations from around the world worked together to test the proposed joint risk assessment tools, based on table top scenarios, and to make recommendations for modifications. Experts agreed on the usefulness and uniqueness of the tool and are keen to support the next phase. After incorporation of the recommendations from the workshop the tool will be piloted in select countries starting early 2018, before its global roll-out as one Operational Tool within the Tripartite Zoonoses Toolkit currently being developed.