Communication should be an integral part of all the activities of the Veterinary Services including animal health (surveillance, early detection and rapid response, prevention, and control), animal welfare and veterinary public health (food safety, zoonoses) and veterinary medicine. The integration of veterinary and communication expertise is essential for effective communication, optimizing the engagement of key stakeholders in animal health or one health interventions.
The objective of this World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) Regional Meeting held on 7 April 2022, was to provide Focal Points (NFPs) in charge of communication with the necessary information to support their Delegates in the field of communication.
This meeting was organized to support an active regional communication network and to facilitate information sharing between WOAH and its Members. All communication focal points from Asia and the Pacific were invited to learn from the successes and experiences of other colleagues in the network, the WOAH Communications Unit, and the WOAH Regional Representation for the Asia and the Pacific (WOAH-RRAP), and the Sub-regional Representation for South-East Asia (WOAH-SRR SEA).
Updates were also provided by WOAH staff from the region and in headquarters on initiatives and opportunities in communications, and documents were shared to facilitate participants’ work as focal points. Participants from New Caledonia, Australia, and the Philippines also volunteered to share their successes and challenges when communicating animal health issues in their respective countries, enriching the discussion with their experiences.
Finally, the meeting included a Mentimeter-led discussion on how to engage the network, concluding that brief sessions through the year were most optimal, with information shared via email or possibly newsletters. Topics suggested for future sessions included safe and sustainable trade, risk and crisis communication, wildlife health, and more case studies on communication campaign successes and challenges.