On Renewed Commitment for Accelerated Progress towards Research, Control and Eradication of Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Constraint in The African Continent
The 35th Meeting of the ISCTRC and the 18th PATTEC National Coordinators’ meeting held in Abuja Nigeria from 23rd to 27th September 2019 acknowledged that Tsetse and trypanosomiasis (T&T) problem continues to constrain the socio-economic development on the African Continent. While recognizing achievements made for the control and eradication of T&T as declared by Heads of state and Government at AU Summit in Lomé Togo in July 2000 (Decision AGH/Dec.156-XXXVI) such as reduction in Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) cases, the meeting noted with concern the slow progress towards achieving the objectives of T&T control and eradication. A sense of urgency was therefore expressed in tackling the problem to safeguard the gains made on the road to elimination and eventual eradication of T&T constraint.
The meeting urged renewed commitment at all levels towards control, elimination/eradication of T&T constraint.
The meeting emphasized that T&T problem should be tackled within the broader context of One Health, Sustainable Rural development and poverty reduction; urging countries to develop appropriate agriculture transformation strategies in the face of changing climate conditions. Furthermore it was emphasized that new innovative strategies, policies, advocacy and awareness, partnerships and effective coordination are of paramount importance for accelerated progress with clear and achievable milestones agreed upon at country, regional and continental levels.
For the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the ISCTRC to be marked during the 35th General Conference of the ISCTRC to be held in Abuja, Nigeria on the 23rd to 27th September 2019, a decision has been made to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions, in the last 10 year, towards the mission and values of ISCTRC. These awards will consist of Plaques, Medallions and certificates. Recipients of these awards exemplify excellence and are representatives of the best in their fields. They have consistently excelled in their positions and demonstrated integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of ISCTRC. These awards will be presented on behalf of the Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission and the Thirty Eight (38) countries affected by tsetse flies and human and animal trypanosomiasis.
The recipients were nominated by the ISCTRC fraternity based on a specified criteria and eventually selected by a committee appointed by the Director of AU-IBAR.
Nominees for Awards
Gold Medal, Plaque and certificate
1. Prof Philippe Buscher is a highly regarded Diagnostics scientist involved in developing diagnostic tools that have contributed immensely to the success in the control of Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), focusing mainly on improved diagnosis. Some of the several diagnostics tools he has developed include CAT, mAECT, TDRs, ELISA, PCRs, and Trypanolysis. Prof. Büscher has co-authored more than 170 articles in peer reviewed journals and more than 10 book chapters. He has participated in several European projects and is a member of the World Health Organization Network for Human African Trypanosomiasis Elimination and is steering committee member of the project on African trypananosomiasis of GALVmed. He advises the Scientific Committee of the Belgian Federal Agency for Food Safety on the diagnosis of dourine (T. equiperdum) and is Associate Editor of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Control of Tsetse (SIT)
2. Dr. Marc J.B. Vreysen is recognised for his role in Control of Tsetse (SIT). He has 30 years of experience with area-wide integrated pest management approaches and the sterile insect technique for major insect pests of crops, livestock and human health. His over 30 years of experience has involved 12 years working and living in sub-Saharan Africa, where he guided and advised SIT programmes against tsetse flies, including the successful tsetse eradication programme on Zanzibar Island. He has been working for the FAO and IAEA since 1987, of which the last 11 years as the Head of the Insect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf.
3. Dr. Udo Feldmann is a recognized Entomologist in Insect Pest Control techniques. He has more than 30 years’ experience in laboratory and field support to tsetse intervention projects, including four years of assignment in East and West Africa. Dr. Udo is recognized for advancing the use of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for eradication of tsetse flies in Zanzibar and other parts of the continent. A highlight of the work in the past 20 years was the conversion of Zanzibar to a tsetse fly free zone in 1997 by means of an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) campaign involving the SIT.
Khartoum, Sudan, 8th-12th September 2013
The 32nd International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control Conference was held at the Friendship Hall, Khartoum, The Sudan from 8th-12th September 2013. The theme of the Conference was "Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Research and Control for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development: Promoting Partnership and Learning Agenda in the Context of African Renaissance".
Over 200 participants attended the meeting and were drawn from 22 African Member States, the African Union Commission, Universities and Research Institutions from all over the world, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Drugs for Neglected Diseases (DNDi) and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicine (GALVmed).
The Conference was officially opened by the First Vice President of the Republic of The Sudan, His Excellency Ali Osman Muhammed Taha. Other dignitaries who also graced the Conference included the Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Rangeland, Dr. Faysal Hassan Ibrahim, The African Union Commission Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Madame Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the Director of African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, and the Coordinator of African Union Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), Dr. Hassane Mahamat.
The key note speaker, His Excellency, Ali Osman Muhammed Taha, underscored the import of the joint African Cooperation and the role of Pan Africanism in the development of Africa. He accentuated the contribution of livestock to food security and consequently the obligation of African countries to protect livestock from animal diseases. He encouraged the ISCTRC platform to continue providing the vital information that would aid the fight against T&T.
The Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Rangeland, Dr. Faysal Hassan Ibrahim, highlighted the negative impact of trypapanosomiasis on rural development of The Sudan and urged scientists and development partners to harness their energies and resources towards a sustainable solution to the problem.
The Director of AU-IBAR Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy, outlined the five broad objectives of the conference as follows:
- information sharing;
- review of T&T control technologies;
- strategies and policy options;
- the identification of research gaps;
- propose recommendations for the next two years.
He also expressed his sincere appreciation for the excellent preparations made by the Government of The Sudan in hosting the conference.
The conference was further inspired through the key note address headlined "Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Research and Control for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development: Promoting partnership and Learning Agenda in the Context of African Renaissance" made by the African Union Commission, Commissioner for Rural Economy, Madam Rhoda Peace Tumusiime. It was appreciated that the theme of the Conference was perfectly aligned with the on-going initiative of developing the Africa Agenda 2063 on a Shared Strategic Framework for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.