The Symposium was the concluding event of the One Health Regional Training Program, held over 5-days from 2–6 December 2013. Participants were invited from each country and included technical specialists, and both operational decision makers and senior government officials responsible for whole-of-government coordination and response. In addition, regional and international experts, and representatives of the donor and key international agencies were invited.
The Symposium aimed to provide a forum for cross-sectoral dialog and knowledge-sharing contributing to sustainability of the One Health Hubs and One Health agenda in the South Asia region.
The Symposium provided a regional forum for:
- Presentation of the results of collaborative investigation project activities and other key One Health initiatives in each country;
- Discussion of regional One Health initiatives and agenda;
- Engagement in a regional-level zoonotic disease simulation exercise including consideration of whole-of-government and transboundary response issues.
A key outcome from this week-long Symposium was commitment by the key government organisations from each of the countries to jointly maintain the One Health Hubs and collaborative activities in pursuit of a sustainable One Health agenda in the region.
The objectives of this 5-day Symposium were:
1. To provide a platform for building sustainability of the One Health networks in the South Asia region through strengthening cross-sectoral communication and collaboration.
2. To present and discuss the utility and outcomes of a collaborative One Health approach to the control of priority and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, including collaborative investigation projects, and other One Health initiatives in each country, to the wider regional and international stakeholder groups.
3. To strengthen capability for effective cross-sectoral and transboundary response to outbreaks of novel zoonotic disease at both technical and whole-of-government levels through a multi-country simulation exercise.
4. To strengthen connections between the people directing epidemiological and biosecurity activities within the region, and build global linkages.
To inform the European Commission, World Bank, and other donors about the achievements of this Regional program and to discuss opportunities for future initiatives building on outcomes to date.