Dr Pronyk is an infectious disease physician and global health specialist with over two decades of experience in low and middle-income countries. Most recently, he held senior positions at UNICEF where he oversaw health, nutrition and WASH programs in Indonesia; led UNICEF’s Ebola response in Sierra Leone; and served as the technical lead for the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities and RMNCH Trust Fund at UNICEF Headquarters in New York which provided financing and technical support to 23 countries in Africa and Asia.
Previously, Dr Pronyk directed major cross-disciplinary research programs in health systems strengthening and communicable disease control for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and The Earth Institute at Columbia University supporting 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He has published widely across a range of disciplines including communicable disease control, health systems, data & analytics, child health and nutrition, gender-based violence, social capital and the social determinants of health.
Contagion & Containment, 7 October 2022, 1000 - 1130hrsEnhancing Regional Health Security in Asia Through Genomic Surveillance
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented public health crisis, the SARS CoV-2 virus is just one of many zoonotic pathogens with outbreak potential. Many potential threats concentrate in South and Southeast Asia given high-levels of population density, environmental change, patterns of human-animal interaction and increasing human mobility.
Genomic surveillance has emerged as an essential tool to enhance early pathogen detection. However, the application of these emerging tools and technologies in high-risk settings, particularly low and middle-income countries, remains limited. This presentation will profile the work of the Asia Pathogen Genomics Initiative (APGI). It will include a review of the current status of sequencing capacity across the region, highlight emerging challenges and bottlenecks, and discuss a strategy for adoption and scale in the context of improving the capacity of national surveillance systems.
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