AU-IBAR, under the scope of the consolidation phase of the project Participation of African Nations in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard Setting Organizations (PANSPSO Phase 2), convened the sixth meeting for African National Codex Contact Points from 15th to 18th June 2015 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to examine the proposed Codex standards and related texts submitted for adoption during the 38th Session the Codex Alimentarius Commission to take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 6th to 11th July 2015.
Of attendance were fifty African Delegates from Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, G. Equatorial, Kenya, Mali, , Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, RCA, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Cameroon. Three observer organizations were in attendance namely the EU representative, ECOWAS and IGAD.
The NCCPs agreed and adopted common positions that they will articulate during the 38th Session of CAC. The meeting also adopted a number of recommendations related to enhanced participation in Codex work and better organization of national Codex committees.
The 3rd Steering Committee Meeting, which evaluated the progress reports of the "Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in IGAD Member States or "Surveillance of Trade-Sensitive Diseases (STSD)", Project underscored the need for speeding up the implementation of national activities in the area of disease surveillance and reporting (DR), as well as piloting of the livestock identification and traceability systems (LITS).
Commending the progresses made by the Project in the past six months, the Meeting, held on the 26th June, 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has also recommended other important issues, ranging from capacity building to extension of the project’s life span. These include the following:
- Project’s capacity development activities to incorporate trainings on data analysis and outbreak investigation; as well as upgrading the skills of regional export quarantine personnel into operators of modern laboratory;
- The project to encourage member states to use the data and information generated through the cross-sectional surveys in order for them comply with OIE’s terms and conditions, which is set for official endorsement of control of PPR, FMD and CBPP;
- AU-IBAR and ICPALD to enhance collaboration and coordination with on-going regional and national projects addressing LITS and disease control;
- The Project to periodically review the DR and LITS guidelines by taking emerging issues into account; and
- The project to request a no-cost extension by 12 months, as the core activities of the project have not been covered as per the project plan due to the delay in the procurement and delivery of inputs.
The Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) Project held a national workshop in Juba from 4th to 5th June 2015 to initiate and promote a community-based grassroot disease reporting system for South Sudan. Its main aim was to enhance passive surveillance of transboundary animal diseases through improving disease recognition coupled with strengthening disease reporting by grassroots livestock stakeholders. The workshop brought together key players from the public and private sector engaged in the delivery of animal health services. Past community-based animal health programmes successfully implemented in South Sudan were reviewed in light of the existing Government structure for delivery of veterinary services. A model community-based grassroot disease reporting system was then proposed. A total of 23 participants drawn from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, State Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Wildlife Services, pharmaceutical companies, ICRC, VSF – SUISSE, AU-IBAR and IGAD attended the workshop.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Director, AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, thanked the Government of South Sudan in general and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in particular in organizing the workshop for creating a community-based grassroot disease reporting system. He noted that transboundary animal diseases (TADs) continue to affect livestock production and trade in the region. There was need therefore to enhance passive surveillance as a means of tackling TADs. He encouraged all livestock stakeholders in South Sudan to participate in disseminating and promoting the use of the syndromic manual in order to improve disease recognition at the grassroots. He reiterated that through such a system, grassroots stakeholders including livestock keepers could send disease reports to community animal health workers, field veterinarians, private vets operating drug shops, and in general the entire disease control system to allow prompt disease response.
In his opening remarks, Dr Aluma Araba, on behalf of the Director General of Veterinary Services for South Sudan, pointed out the importance of the SMP-AH project in supporting the people and the Government of South Sudan in livestock activities. He recognized efforts made by the SMP-AH project in supporting South Sudanese citizens in training on management skills, laboratory diagnostic techniques, disease surveillance and quarantine management. He encouraged all stakeholders to embrace a community-based animal health programme, given past success in South Sudan especially during the eradication of Rinderpest.