Hotel Venus 2-3 April 2014, Kinshasa, DRC. Within the framework of "Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa" (VETGOV) programme, the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched its livestock policy Hub which will serve to develop and enhance livestock policies and strategies in DRC.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development with his entire cabinet attended the opening and closing ceremonies in the presence of Dr. Hiver Boussini, Animal Health Officer, representing AU-IBAR at the event. Honorable Chrisostome Vahamwiti, Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of livestock in DRC. He however echoed that DRC is a net importer of animal protein despite the sector's potential. Several initiatives were evoked including the current vaccination campaign against PPR, Anthrax, and CBPP where the Government has allocated 1.5 million USD.
The Minister underscored the importance of good policy to boost livestock development in DRC. He highlighted the need for the policy hub to operate on the principles of holistic participation and inclusiveness. He thanked The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) for the initiatives and support to set up and operationalize such a platform through VETGOV program. He also expressed grateful appreciations to AU-IBAR for the relentless support to DRC through various projects and programs.
Landmark Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 01 - to 04 April 2014.
Hon. Dr Titus Mlengeya Kamani (MP) Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development presided over the opening ceremony. The Hon Minister welcomed the participants to the workshop and thanked the African Union and the EAC Secretariat for spearheading the initiative to improve Veterinary services and the European Union for their continued and unwavering support to the Veterinary Services and Livestock Development in the EAC region.
The Minister reminded participants that the East African region is endowed with a rich and enormous animal resource base and that Livestock, are currently estimated at: 48.6 million cattle, 56.5 million goats, 25.2 million sheep, 5.5 million pigs, 3.07 million camels and 123.91 million poultry, making the EAC one of the richest regions in Africa in terms of livestock resources. However, the Hon Minister noted that the full contribution of the animal resource to the economy and livelihoods of the people of the region had not been fully and correctly quantified despite the fact that they are an important resource base for food for the growing population, employment and income and foreign exchange for our countries, traction and dung for energy and soil fertility improvement to rural agriculture, meat, milk and eggs for consumption and export, hides and skins for the growing industries and foreign exchange, in addition to its socio-cultural values which should not be underestimated.
Maintaining animal health is a team effort, requiring adequate policy personnel with good vision, veterinary personnel in the field with high awareness, laboratory personnel with required expertise and resources to appropriately process submitted samples and participation of stakeholders who are in constant contact with animals.
In animal health management, it is imperative to detect diseases whenever they occur and more so to do so as early as possible before they spread and cause more harm. However, in many parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), the number of veterinary personnel is low making it necessary to involve people in constant contact with animals such as herders, livestock keepers, livestock traders, butchers, truckers, marketers and processors to participate in disease reporting. Often these non-professionals are aware of syndromes in animals such as pneumonia or diarrhoea, but lack the specific disease knowledge that is essential for ensuring that the disease information informs the national surveillance for the transboundary animal diseases (TADs).
Luckily, this lack in specific disease knowledge among such livestock grassroot stakeholders has been addressed by recent developments in the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health Project through the publication of "A Field Manual of Animal Disease by Syndromes" which contains photographs of clinical signs and lesions typical of specific TADs. It is produced using highly durable waterproof paper and spiral binding with colour photographs embedded into plastic pages to allow for easy cleaning with damp cloth in case of filth and to avoid fading. The manual is intended to help all those in contact with animals to recognize certain disease characteristics, and transmit information to responsible veterinary personnel through appropriate means such as mobile phones.
The ARIS2 national training for Gabonese Republic was conducted from 3rd – 6th March 2014 at Libreville. The training is aimed at supporting Animal Resources data management in the country through the use of the Animal Resources Information (ARIS2) application developed by AU-IBAR.
The training session was declared open the national Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Dr. Daniel OBAME ONDO after brief introduction of the objectives of the training by the ARIS coordinator, Dr Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed and opening remarks by the regional VET-GOV coordinator Dr. Demsa BASHIROU. The ARIS coordinator explained that at the end of this training, the national reporting officers and field staff will be able to use ARIS to submit their reports at national regional, continental and global level.
The director of African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy and the COMESA Reinforcing Veterinary Governance (VET-GOV) program coordinator Dr. Yoseph S. Mamo paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Agro-Industry and Food Security (MAIFS) Hon. Satya Vegash Faugoo and Permanent Secretary Mr. Ashis Kumar Hoolass, on Wednesday, 19 March 2014. During the visit to Ministry, Professor Elsawalhy and Hon Faugoo discussed various pertinent issues related to regional livestock development, diseases control and the progress being made in the implementation of VET-GOV's programs in the COMESA region and the continent. Honorable Minister appreciated the good work that AU-IBAR and COMESA is doing to address national and regional institutional gaps including livestock policies, strategies and veterinary legislations. He also commended AU-IBAR for granting pilot activity project entitled as "Evaluation of Basic Veterinary Care in Mauritius".
Following the curtsey visit, the Mauritius Pilot Activity Project was signed between the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources in the capital city, Port Luis, on 21st March 2014.
- SMP-AH project supports an integrated training programme in Surveillance and Epidemiology of Trade-Related Transboundary Animal Diseases for Veterinary staff from Greater Horn of Africa
- Workshop on Exit Strategy for the NSPSC of Guinea
- Launching of Vet-Gov pilot action in Comoros
- The ALive “Livestock Sector Investment Policy Toolkit” (LISPT)