MSPTM Webinar 2021

MSPTM Webinar 2021

Webinar Jan 2021

Our Moderator & Speakers

Dr. Farah Shafawati Mohd Taib

Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Introduction - Moderator: Dr. Farah Shafawati Mohd Taib is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science an Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She received her PhD in Zoology from UKM in 2015, and her research discipline are on vertebrate ecology, parasitology and Zoonosis. She has more than 10 years experience in ecological study in determining the effect of habitat disturbance on biodiversity, especially birds and small mammals. Her current research focused on several zoonotic disease such as Leptospirosis, and avian influenza virus. She also involved in community engagement program in managing the disease. She is a commission member of the IUCN small mammals specialist group for Southeast Asia. Thus, her work not only limited on the ecology of animals, but also understanding the disease ecology.


Mr. Mohd Lutfi Bin Abdullah

Head of Zoonotic Unit of PERHILITAN

Title: Sharing PERHILITAN experiences of the last 10 years in disease work including COVID-19

Abstract: Department of Wildlife and National Park (PERHILITAN) is the government agency responsible for the conservation of wildlife. However, continuous emerging of infectious disease where their host are found to be wildlife requires PERHILITAN to play more prominent role in zoonotic disease detection. On 2010, PERHILITAN start to build the capacity for disease work by forming zoonotic unit and launch wildlife disease surveillance program (WDSP). To date, a total of 13, 277 samples of various species of wildlife were tested for several group of viruses including SARS-coV-2 (covid 19) that emerged recently. PERHILITAN considered a newcomer in disease work where there are still a lot to improve but the experiences gained along the last 10 years in disease works is worth to share.

Mr. Tom Hughes

Malaysian Project Coordinator for EcoHealth Alliance and Director of Conversation Medicine

Title: Zoonoses in Malaysia - What do we know and what do we need to do to be ready for the next Disease X

Abstract: The PREDICT project in Malaysia identified 76 novel and 29 known viruses. The Serological Biosurveillance for Henipaviruses and Filoviruses at high-risk interfaces has found evidence of exposure in people, macaques, and bats. EID SEARCH will scale up our ongoing strategy for targeted surveillance in wildlife and livestock and the detection of spillover and illness in high-risk human populations to help us to better understand, and respond to, the risk of zoonotic viral emergence in South East Asia. While great progress has been made in Malaysia improving surveillance for zoonotic viruses, COVID-19 has remined us how vulnerable we are to the spill over of zoonotic pathogens. There is an urgent need to continue capacity building and disease surveillance using molecular and serological techniques at high-risk interfaces and in hospital settings, to identify which new pathogens pose a risk to humans, wildlife and livestock and improve diagnostics. This effort will help to build on our readiness to respond to the next disease X.

Prof. Dr. Latiffah Hassan

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UPM, Malaysia One Health University Network

Title: One Health Workforce Development in the Age of Pandemics

Abstract: One Health is a concept that confronts human health problems at the interphase of human-animal-ecosystem and considers the linkages among health of human, animal and their shared environment. As such, the approach allows for a wider and holistic understanding about the skills necessary to deal with the complex eco-social determinants of health and to more effectively and efficiently tackle disease threats. Coordination/ collaboration across disciplines and sectors is required to detect, assess and control both explosive and endemic zoonosis events. Recent zoonotic disease events demonstrated the cascading social and economic impacts in addition to the direct health outcomes of people, animals and communities. Therefore current and future one health workers need to be empowered with new skills to enable them to perform the required cross sectoral tasks given the complexity of one health issues. The One Health approach is unique as it builds on existing capacities and bring disciplines and sectors together to supply broader health benefits. Increasing cross-sectoral coordination help promote science-based decisions, reduce redundancies among the sectors liable for the health of humans, animals, and the environment; and more effectively address external factors influencing disease burdens. Investing in One Health approach and capacity building for veterinary and public health services could avoid billions spent in zoonosis response annually worldwide.