The Impactful One Health EJP Joint SimEx/Dissemination Workshop

The Impactful One Health EJP Joint SimEx/Dissemination Workshop

The One Health EJP Joint SimEx/Dissemination Workshop “A One Health Simulation Exercise as a roadmap for future foodborne outbreak preparedness” was held on 6th December 2022.

This interdisciplinary online event concluded a series of Dissemination Workshops with the purpose of sharing One Health EJP scientific outcomes to national policy makers.

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The successful final workshop, organised by the One Health EJP SimEx Project (WP4) and Science to Policy Translation (WP5) teams, brought together 77 participants from across Europe, with a target audience of policy makers, decision makers and risk managers. Participants’ overwhelmingly positive feedback on this workshop, being both personally and professionally highly useful, confirms the impact of our science to policy activities.

This joint workshop highlighted the main outcomes from the One Health EJP SimEx – a national level complex table-top exercise on a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak affecting both human and pet food supplies. The outcomes were based on the results of 11 European countries’ experiences and included good practices currently in place and the major gaps identified. Insights and recommendations for implementation and improvement associated with outbreak preparedness were also shared. Overall, the presentations focused on the applicability of One Health EJP-produced solutions and experiences from conducting the SimEx across Europe to improve prevention, detection, and response to pathogens in One Health approach.



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The opening talk by Annemarie Käsbohrer (leader of WP5, BfR, Germany) and Karin Artursson (leader of WP4, SVA, Sweden) introduced the cross-sector collaborative and capacity building approach of the One Health EJP in the fields of foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance, and emerging threats. Rebecca Litzell Forss (One Health EJP SimEx Project Team, SVA, Sweden) subsequently explained the aims and organisation of the One Health EJP SimEx that tested the capability and coordination of public health, animal health and food safety teams to work together. An overview of the One Health EJP SimEx scenario focused on salmonellosis was presented by Mats Lindblad (One Health EJP SimEx Project Team, SLV, Sweden).

Invited representatives from ten countries across Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and The Netherlands) described their experiences and positive outcomes from participating in the SimEx exercise. Further insights on the conduction of the SimEx in France from the perspective of a local evaluator were shared by Charlotte Grastilleur from ANSES.

Marion Gottschald (BfR, Germany) provided an explanation on the application of the FoodChain-Lab (FCL) integrative software tool in the SimEx exercise. This innovative output from JIP COHESIVE enables the reliable tracing of a specific food product along the food supply chain during a foodborne disease incident.

In the final talk, Frederico Alves (One Health EJP SimEx Exercise team, SVA, Sweden) presented a summary of the preliminary results of the One Health EJP SimEx. He shared SimEx survey findings from European participants working in public health, food safety and animal health sectors. Overall, highly positive feedback was given, as participants reported they gained confidence to pursue a One Health approach and would work closely with other sectors in a future outbreak situation.

The One Health EJP Joint SimEx /Dissemination Workshop has highlighted the importance of evaluating the experiences gained from conducting national simulation exercises to enhance the delivery of further outbreak response scenarios. Our preparedness for future zoonotic disease outbreaks depends upon clear communication and collaboration across sectors, as demonstrated in this workshop.

On completion of the workshop, Anna Omazic, One Health EJP SimEx Project Leader said “’The workshop was a fantastic way to end the SimEx project. It was encouraging to hear that each and every country has benefitted from completing the exercise, making positive steps towards achieving a harmonised One Health approach to future disease outbreak responses across Europe.”

A full report on the joint workshop is now available here. We look forward to the future publication of a scientific paper detailing the OHEJP SimEx journey. Congratulations to the One Health EJP SimEx Project and Science to Policy Translation teams for organising this impactful event!



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