EMPHNET Participates in CORDS 2018 Conference
The 2018 Conference for Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS) was held under the theme Advancing Regional Collaboration for Improved Global Health Security. Taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, between January 29 and 30, the conference saw participation from CORDS’ six international networks: the Asia Partnership on Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (APEIR), the East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet), the Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Consortium (MBDS), the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS), the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), and the Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases (SECID). Furthermore, EMPHNET alongside other networks and global health experts participated in the conference to share their respective experiences and explore future collaborations with CORDS.
While also being aligned with the conference’s theme, lectures and panel discussions held within the conference’s agenda were designed to explore topics relevant to the strategic objectives that CORDS works towards in its aims to achieve collaboration among regional disease surveillance networks to improve networks’ capacities to prevent, detect, and control the spread of epidemics. Its objectives are geared towards Building Capacity; Promoting Innovation; Advancing One Health; and Building Sustainable Networks.
Thus, key note speakers, presenters, and subject matter experts discussed topics related to using digital tools in disease surveillance and other innovative approaches; challenges and opportunities in adopting a One Health perspective in public health interventions; experiences in building regional capacities; and strengthening disease surveillance and response through the creation of sustainable disease surveillance networks.
EMPHNET participated in a session on building sustainable networks where Executive Director Dr. Mohannad Al-Nsour spoke about the role of EMPHNET in responding to public health challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean Region through building national and regional capacities in several priority public health areas, such as outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, rapid response, and International Health Regulations (IHR) implementation. He also highlighted EMPHNET’s role in providing technical assistance by supporting Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) and collaborating with associations, institutions, networks and organizations to achieve mutual goals.
Dr. Al-Nsour also highlighted the fact that the organization grew by building a network of expertise and supporting innovative approaches in meeting the various public health challenges of the region and supporting knowledge sharing. In the context of the region’s challenges, he also highlighted the need for sustainable strategies to counteract the increasing challenges and to introduce new health initiatives and programs to offset staggering improvements in health outcomes. He also identified Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) as one of the main resources contributing to overcoming these challenges.
EMPHNET and CORDS also initiated discussions about the former’s inclusion within CORDS as a network from the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).
The CORDS 2018 Conference was held on the sidelines of the Prince Mahidol Awards Conference (PMAC) in Bangkok. PMAC was held under the theme Making the World Safe from the Threats of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Bangkok between January 29 and February 3, 2018. Held annually, PMAC is an international conference organized by the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, the Royal Thai Government and key international organizations working in the field of health. The conference focuses on issues related to policy within the field of health.
EMPHNET also attended sessions in this conference.