Tbilisi, Georgia: The EcoHealth Alliance – a US-based non-governmental organization, organized and led meetings in Tbilisi, Georgia, last month from December 6 to 8, 2022, which focused on strengthening One Health biosurveillance and biodefense. The panels were joined by a diverse array of experts from Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan to share knowledge and enhance regional collaboration.
The EcoHealth Alliance is a US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) with a stated mission of saving people, animals, and the environment from occurring infectious diseases. The nonprofit is concentrated on research that strives to prevent pandemics and promote conservation in hotspot regions worldwide. It also focuses on Developing science-based solutions to prevent pandemics & encourage conservation.
During the meetings held in Tbilisi, the EcoHealth representatives Dr William Karesh, Executive Vice President for Health and Policy and Dr Kevin Olival, Vice President for Research, discussed several topics, which included zoonotic disease emergence & spread and drivers & impacts of climate change.
The multidisciplinary group of stakeholders from human & animal health, agriculture, wildlife, environment, national security, and tourism sectors participated in discussions, activities and a tabletop simulation exercise to improve coordination in prevention, detection and rapid response to emerging pathogens.
The meetings were funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) Global Health Engagement Research Initiative.
The EcoHealth Alliance is always at the forefront of conducting several seminars and events focused on eliminating viruses worldwide. Particularly, it focuses on diseases which are caused by deforestation and heightened interaction between wildlife and humans. The organization has researched the emergence of several diseases, including the Nipah virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ebola virus, COVID-19, Rift Valley fever etc.
The organization also advises the OIE – World Organisation for Animal Health, FAO – the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature as well as the WHO – World Health Organisation on worldwide wildlife trade, threats regarding disease & the environmental damage posed by these.