Regional meeting of the Eastern Africa Animal Health Networks conducted

The IGAD Centre for the Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), jointly organized and held the Eastern Africa Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) and the 5th joint Epidemiology and Laboratory Annual Coordination Meeting at Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania from 2 to 4 September 2014. The meeting was attended by representatives from 12 countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda,  Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) and participants representing ICPALD/IGAD, AU-IBAR, AU-PANVAC IZSVe Padova, FAO and OIE. The meeting was funded by FAO and ICPALD/IGAD within the framework of the implementation of the European Commission-funded projects entitled “Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa” and “Surveillance of Trade-Sensitive Diseases” in IGAD Member States as well as the USAID-funded project “EPT-1/IDENTIFY”.

The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Deusdedit Tinuga representing the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development of Tanzania following remarks from the OIE, IGAD, AU-IBAR, AU-PANVAC and FAO.

The meeting’s objectives were to:

• Review laboratory and epidemiology networks’ activities

• Discuss country status and recent control activities related to key diseases such as PPR, FMD, ASF, CBPP, RVF and Rabies;

• Update on STSD project progress reports and planned activities;

• Update on the VET GOV programme and IDENTIFY project progress activities;

• Review country’s experience in One Health (OH) implementation;

• Update on the preparation of the new Emerging Pandemics Threat phase 2 (EPT-2);

• Update on emerging issues including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) and the epidemic Ebola virus disease;

• Review technical partners’ activities related to the prevention and control of TADs in the region.

Three side meetings of the CVOs, the Eastern African (EA) Regional Epidemiology Network (EAREN) and the Eastern Africa Regional Laboratory Network (EARLN) took place to (i) review their annual work plans; (ii) discuss reports of the EA Regional Support Laboratory (NAHDIC) and (iii) discuss animal diseases information sharing challenges & recommendations to move forward.

The main recommendations are the indicated as follows: Update on Regional Animal Health Networks ‘activities and to follow up anchoring the networks to IGAD and EAC communities; strengthening laboratory diagnostic, among others through encouraging member states to undertake proficiency Tests, reminded member states to actively use the services provided by the Regional Support Laboratory in Ethiopia (the National Animal Health Disease Investigation Center (NAHDIC); finalization of the laboratory policy guidelines; that laboratories, in the Network, contribute to the validation of the assay by testing the PANVAC pilot kit; that the network coordinators develop a three-year regional training programme for the prioritized training areas an follow up the implementation;  promotion of One Health (OH); enhance animal disease information sharing; and encouraged member states to maintain  the management of veterinary drugs under direct supervision of the National Veterinary Authorities

IGAD/ICPALD, AUIBAR and FAO would like to thank EU and USAID for financing this activity through the projects indicated above.

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