Representatives of the IGAD Member States expressed their commitment to rollout continuous awareness programmes in their respective countries to accelerate the establishment and implementation of national Animal Disease Surveillance and Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS).
At a regional awareness and message validation workshop, held on August 13th and 14th, 2015 at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, National Focal Points of the STSD Project and Communication Experts from the IGAD Member States expressed their readiness to create awareness on the fact that disease surveillance and LITS are the critical factors to enhance regional trade and maximise livelihoods services. They reiterated that the awareness and sensitisation programmes are instrumental to bring policy makers and the grassroots on board to ensure utmost support and coordination in the implementations of the systems.
Highlighting the vital role the awareness porogarmme constitutes in the STSD Project, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR, underscored that the support and cooperation of all stakeholders are critical to achieve a robust disease reporting and animal identification and traceability systems in the IGAD Member States. To realise this, Professor Elsawalhy noted, a targeted awareness programme to these stakeholders is vital during project implementation.
Representing IGAD/ICPALD, Dr Agol M. Kwai, made an opening remark and, in his speech, he urged participants to come up with a clear work-plan to rollout the national awareness programme, which drives the implementation of the awareness creation programmes on disease reporting and LITS in the Region.
In an effort to reduce the impacts of animal diseases, which affect livestock trade in the IGAD region, AU-IBAR in collaboration with IGAD Secretariat, and with a financial support from the European Union, has been implementing a project entitled, 'Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in IGAD Member States", in short "Surveillance of Trade Sensitive Diseases – STSD". The project is working towards strengthening the capacities of the IGAD Member States to enable them protect livestock assets, enhance resilience and promote livestock trade through improved disease surveillance and LITS.