AU-IBAR is technically and financially supporting African Union Member States to develop and validate their national strategies for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) control and eradication; and the control of other priority small ruminant diseases (SRDs). In Libya, PPR is endemic causing severe hardship to owners of small ruminants. Controlling PPR is regarded as key to poverty reduction and livelihood enhancement because it is spread all over the country and affects the majority of the population depending on small ruminants for their livelihoods. The purpose of the strategy is therefore to control and eventually eradicate PPR from Libya as well as guide the control of other small ruminant diseases and improvement in veterinary services delivery in the country. This strategy when implemented will lead to an increase in livestock production and productivity, and improvement in the general growth performance of small ruminants in the country. The expected net effects will include an increase in rural employment, income generation, and sustainable livelihoods.
Following the agreement to support the State of Libya to undertake this activity, two technical experts from the University of Tripoli were contracted by AU-IBAR as facilitators to support the national Veterinary Services National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH) in Libya to develop a draft of the strategy in July 2018. The experts were also to coordinate and facilitate the pre-validation workshop, and to finalize the strategy after the workshop. The draft was therefore presented for pre-validation at the workshop that was held from 28th - 30th August 2018 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Tunis, Tunisia. The workshop was organized in Tunis because of the logistic difficulties of organizing the event in Libya under the current fragile security situation in the country.
The overall objective of the workshop was to review and pre-validate the draft of the Libya PPR control and Eradication strategy. The workshop also served to enlighten the other participants on the strategy development process.
A total of twenty (20 No) participants and experts drawn from the public Veterinary Service, National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH), the Animal Health Research Institute, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Tripoli and representatives of farmers and the civil society in Libya participated at the workshop. The two national experts engaged by AU-IBAR facilitated the training and pre-validation sessions. Two technical officers Drs. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed and Henry Wamwayi and one finance officer Ms. Anne Nirere from AU-IBAR provided technical back-stopping and financial support for the workshop respectively.
The workshop started with a welcome address by the CVO of Tunisia Dr Malek Zrelli, followed by goodwill messages from the Director of AU-IBAR represented by Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed and the OiE Sub-Regional representative for North Africa Dr. Bouguedoun Rachid. The opening address was made by the CVO of Libya Dr Zakaria Alkhatal (Director-General, National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH).
The technical sessions were conducted through brief presentations of the various topics and issues followed by group and plenary discussion to bring out the real situation at the national level and agree on a position. The topics covered included:
- Introduction and general background of the National PPR situation
- Review of PPR regional strategy
- PanAfrican PPR strategy and programme
- Vision, goal and objectives
- Presentation of the National situation of PPR
- Stakeholder analysis
- Review of short, mid and long term strategy
- Situation analysis – mapping of current situation
- Value chain analysis and Mapping value chains
- Risk analysis and risk pathways; listing and ranking of risk hotspots
- Design of sero-surveys
- Other SRDs
The draft PPR strategy was reviewed in great detail during the 3 day workshop and the final draft adopted following the inputs of the workshop participants. The 5 year action plan to initiate the implementation of the strategy was also reviewed and updated. Finally a road map, and the way forward including a resource mobilization strategy were drafted.
The outcome of the review of the draft strategy document at the pre-validation meeting was incorporated into the final document for presentation to the line Ministry for final validation and subsequent official submission to the AU-IBAR for printing.
At the end of the workshop all the participants agreed that the contenst of the draft strategy after the review met their expectations and that it should be processed for final validation and endorsement by the Hon Minister of Agriculture, Animal & Marine Wealth (MAAMW) of the State of Libya. The meeting was very successful as all the objectives of the meeting were realised. A very high level of attendance and participation was achieved with all the represented sectors and participants providing inputs for the final document.
Certificates of participation were issued to all the participants by the CVO Libya. Souvenirs in form of plaques were also distributed to the resource persons, the CVO Tunisia, the OIE representatives and the 2 AU-IBAR technical staff.
At the closing session, the CVO of the State of Libya, Dr Zakaria Alkhatal (Director General, NCAH, MAAMW, Libya) thanked all the participants for their contribution and appreciated the support provided by AU-IBAR in the development and pre-validation of the strategy. The AU-IBAR staff and the representative from OIE also made complimentary remarks regarding the excellent organization and methodology of the workshop that ensures the participation and contribution of all the stakeholders.