ARCHIVED - Success Story #1

 

CAREID Aids South-East Asia to Detect and Respond to Emerging Infectious Diseases

The Canada-Asia Regional Emerging Infectious Disease (CAREID) project is taking an innovative approach to build lasting capacity in South-East Asia to detect and respond effectively to emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

Created as a result of lessons learned from the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak (SARS), the CAREID project focuses on strengthening surveillance, emergency response, laboratory capacity and risk communications.

Donor agencies often deliver training with off-the-shelf training materials. Through the CAREID project, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is bringing disciplines together for the development of resources that are tailored to the needs of each partner country.

PHAC is working with the Ministries of Health from Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, and Vietnam, with collaboration from Thailand, to create and tailor an outbreak investigation and response curriculum adapted from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) online training resources.

CAREID is a good model among donor projects,” said Dr. Bounlay Phommasack, Director General of the National Emerging Infectious Disease Coordination Office at the Ministry of Health, Lao PDR. “Involvement of local decision-makers in technical initiatives creates greater ownership and understanding. We encourage other partners to consider this approach.”

Dr. Ly Sovann, Deputy Director of the Communicable Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, welcomes participants to the CAREIDIntegrated Lab/ Epi Training session.

Dr. Ly Sovann, Deputy Director of the Communicable Disease
Control Department of the Ministry of Health in Cambodia,
welcomes participants to the CAREID Integrated Lab/ Epi
Training session.

Epidemiologists and laboratory professionals must work together to investigate the origin of a disease and develop interventions to prevent further illness and spread. For the first time, PHAC has brought together these two critical disciplines to develop and deliver training that fosters a more effective working relationship and ultimately promotes a more effective field response. PHAC, with experts from both disciplines, developed and modified curricula to establish regional and national toolkits, conducted pilots and planned and implemented national training events. 

CAREID’s toolkit is exciting for Cambodia because training laboratory technicians and epidemiologists has traditionally been separate,” said Dr. Ly Sovann, Deputy Director of the Communicable Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Health in Cambodia. “Integrating training provides an opportunity to develop understanding that can lead to closer working relations.”

PHAC also engaged participants early to help ensure local ownership and lasting capacity as the partner countries acquire technical knowledge about handling a disease outbreak and the skills to develop training materials and conduct training. CAREID’s “show them how to fish” approach was designed to build lasting, sustainable capacity and it has been well-received so far. CAREID’s outbreak and response curriculum will be incorporated into national field epidemiology training in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam; a first for donor training and curriculum in the region. 

The CAREID project will leave Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Philippines and Vietnam with:

  • increased capacity to detect emerging infectious disease, and
  • a cadre of experts in curriculum development and training.

This increased capacity in South-East Asia to detect and respond effectively to emerging infectious disease also aligns with the WHO’s Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Infectious Diseases. The CAREID project helps strengthen the ability of the partner countries to effectively report to the WHO on human and animal health.   

Through the CAREID project, Canada also meets both domestic and international obligations under International Health Regulations, by helping other countries detect and prevent the spread of diseases which can potentially cross borders. Early detection of national and international infectious disease disasters will save lives, reduce social stress and save money. 

CAREID helps Canada meet public health goals to protect Canadians and those who live in Canada,” says Dr. Rainer Engelhardt, Assistant Deputy Minister of Infectious Disease, Prevention and Control Branch, PHAC.

The project also contributes to the Millennium Development Goals: to reduce child mortality, improve maternal Heath, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. 

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