A workshop to develop the SMP-AH country activity plans was held in Kampala Uganda as from 25th February to 1st March 2014. Twenty participants from seven participating countries, namely, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda attended the workshop. The participants were drawn from Epidemiology and Laboratory Units as well as from Vaccine Production Institutes of KEVEVAPI and NVI. In addition, other participants were drawn from AU-IBAR, ICPALD and USAID. The workshop was officially opened by Dr Nicholas Kauta, Chief Veterinary Officer for Uganda. AU-IBAR, ICPALD and USAID remarks were respectively delivered by Dr Hiver Boussini, Animal Health Officer, AU-IBAR; Dr Joseph Magona, Veterinary Epidemiologist, AU-IBAR/ICPALD; and Mr. Isaac Njoro Thendiu, Regional Resilience Advisor, USAID/East Africa.
The overall objective of the workshop was to discuss the development of Country activity plans for the implementation of the SMPs to achieve a regionally coordinated and harmonised disease surveillance and control.
The specific objectives of the workshop were:
- To prioritise the country-specific needs to fill the gaps in surveillance, disease control and laboratory support;
- To develop Country activities to support disease surveillance and control in line with the SMPs;
- To develop Country work plans and budgets;
- To develop a Country Performance Monitoring Plan.
To achieve the objectives, the following were carried out:
- Presentation on the SMP-AH project
- Presentation on the purpose and dissemination modalities of a field manual of animal diseases by syndromes
- Group discussions
- Plenary presentations
Following the deliberations and considering
- The need for capacity building in disease surveillance, epidemiological investigations and reporting;
- The need for laboratory capacity building especially in areas of management, diagnostic capability and safety upgrading;
- The need for improved abilities for communication, information sharing, and regional cooperation;
- The need for strengthening disease control interventions;
- The need for implementation of Standard Methods and Procedures (SMPs) for nine priority TADs;
- The need for enhanced emergency disease response.
Recognizing that the above-mentioned actions provide building blocks for harmonised and coordinated animal health programmes to promote movement of livestock across national borders for trade or pasture, workshop participants agreed on the following way forward to achieve country implementation of SMP-AH activities:
- Participating Countries to finalise the Country activity plans with details on technical specifications where appropriate and costs by 7th March 2014.
- Upon completion of the Action Plans, Chief Veterinary Officers of respective Participating Countries should officially submit the Action Plans to the Project Coordinator by 15th March 2014.
- Susan Mugwe, the AU-BAR M&E Officer prepares and shares an annual M&E Plan for 2014 with Participating Countries by 30th March 2014.
- Upon submission of Actions Plans, AU-IBAR will enter into agreements with Participating Countries stipulating the respective obligations by 30th March 2014.
- Participating Countries and AU-IBAR and IGAD to develop top 3 priority Standard Operating Procedures in areas of Epidemiology, Surveillance, Laboratory and Quality Management between April and December 2014.
- Produce national and regional bulletins 2 per year. Participating Countries will determine the languages of publications of the national bulletins while AU-IBAR and ICPALD will determine the languages of publications of the Regional bulletin.
- AU-IBAR and IGAD to compose a team of experts to lead the development of the regional risk assessment. The team will also draw the road map.
- Establish an active e-network involving Participating Countries, the Project Coordination Unit and the SMP-AH TWG to enhance information exchange.
- Hold regional review meetings, one in July 2014 and another in December 2014 during which Participating Countries will undertake planning for 2015.
- Chief Veterinary Officers should consider including persons that have participated in the development of Country Action Plan in the Country Project Implementation Teams since they clearly understand project activities and outputs.