4th Meeting of South Asia Wildlife Health Network


South Asia Wildlife Health Network Meeting: Nipah virus and its status in the region

The 4th meeting of South Asia Wildlife Health Network was held online on 13th March, 2024. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Muhammad Samar Hussain Khan, Conservator Wildlife/ WOAH Wildlife Focal Point for Pakistan and attended by participants from Nepal, Pakistan and WOAH Secretariat. The topic of the meeting was discussion on Nipah Virus and its Status in the Region.  The meeting included two presentations. The invited guest speaker Dr Muhammad Haroon Hamed, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan   delivered a presentation on Wildlife Diseases in Pakistan. He provided a detailed overview of different zoonotic diseases and their prevalence in the country. It was noted that no case of Nipah Virus has been reported from Pakistan.

Dr Bijaya Kumar Shrestha, WOAH Wildlife Focal Point for Nepal presented Updates of Health Management of Wildlife in Nepal. He shared his experiences in wildlife health management activities including; treatment of sick/injured animals, postmortem of dead animals for diagnosis purpose, rescue and translocation of wild animals and health management of species in captivity.  He also briefed on the recent incidences of reported occurrence of Canine Distemper Virus in wildlife species in Kathmandu Valley.

Mr Muhammad Samar Hussain Khan shared various ongoing activities in wildlife habitat areas of Northern Pakistan including livestock vaccination schemes and engagement of local communities as Ecosystem Health Workers to improve livestock management to reduce risks of disease transmission to wildlife species.

During the discussion Dr. Lesa Thompson, WOAH Regional Project Officer, commended the efforts of the member countries towards health management of wildlife species and urged the need of following the standards protocols for better wildlife health management.

* Photo credit: Mr Muhammad Samar Hussain Khan