Victoria Balta

Project title: Assessing Infectious Disease Risk and Response Capabilities in the Asia Pacific Region

Degree: MPH | Program: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) | Project type: Practicum
Completed in: 2016 | Faculty advisor: Charles D. (Chuck) Treser


The Asia Pacific region is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and, therefore, one of the most at risk regions for disease outbreaks. Despite their large and dense populations, a number of nations in the region suffer from significant deficiencies in their public health infrastructures. To support potential interventions in the region that promote on the ground public health capacity building, Metabiota, along with U.S. Government partners, has developed a long-term engagement strategy within the Asia Pacific region to identify and characterize risks posed by pathogens of concern. The final product of this effort was a large survey report that discussed the current disease landscape of the Asia Pacific region as well as the capacity of regional public health and state leaders to handle infectious disease outbreaks. The engagement strategy report also examined the current gaps in public health outbreak response, and discussed why these gaps deserve increased resources and manpower. Lastly, the engagement strategy report discussed comprehensive techniques and potential areas for intervention that would most efficiently and effectively minimize these deficiencies. The results of this project remain to be seen, as discussions about the final report are currently ongoing. Should future public health interventions come to fruition, appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems will need to be put in place to measure the efficacy of U.S. efforts in the region.