New ‘animal disease detective’ training package

26 Oct 2023

Image: APCOVE fellow Elaine Hevoho from Papua New Guinea.

With the risk of zoonotic diseases, such as coronaviruses and avian flu, on the rise, training a new generation of animal disease detectives at the frontline is vital to help prevent disease wiping out livestock or infecting humans. 

A new eLearning training package is now available to help address this global challenge, developed by the University of Sydney-led Asia Pacific Consortium of Veterinary Epidemiology (APCOVE). 

Launched at the recent World Health Summit in Berlin and available at no cost to veterinarians and animal handlers, the package is designed to help detect and prevent infectious diseases in the field before they emerge as pandemics. 

According to APCOVE Leader, Associate Professor Navneet Dhand from the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, “This is the biggest resource for field veterinary epidemiology training globally. 

“It has only been possible to develop this valuable resource due to the collaborative effort of enthusiastic epidemiologists from several countries and organisations committed to strengthening health security and preventing the next pandemic.” 

The materials are the result of the collective efforts of more than 40 APCOVE partners from all veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand, one veterinary school from the US and eight countries in the Asia Pacific over the past three years. 

With interactive features including videos, case studies and scenarios, the package comprises 36 eLearning modules on outbreak investigation, surveillance, data analysis, risk assessment, disease control, biosecurity, One Health, leadership and communication. 

Developed and tested in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam, the modules have also been translated and are available in Lao, Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese and Burmese. 

Read more about the APCOVE consortium and access the eLearning modules.