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.
In view of the declaration, the following specific recommendations are made for urgent implementation
- The meeting commended the PATTEC open forum as being most timely and appropriate to take stock of the progress made towards control and eradication of T&T and recommended that such fora should be held at regular intervals and progress reported accordingly;
- In view of the Abuja declaration on renewed commitment to accelerate progress towards control and eradication of T&T, there is urgent need for PATTEC initiative to re-strategize and focus on achieving results by developing new innovative strategies, policies, advocacy and awareness, partnerships, and better coordination to synergize and realize the vision of T&T control and eradication
- PATTEC Coordination Office and each affected country undertakes a thorough assessment of the T&T problem, distribution, mapping and socio-economic effects of T&T constraint for inclusion into the national rural development priorities within the broader context of One Health and sustainable rural development strategies and changing climatic condition
- It was further recommended that affected Member States and PATTEC Coordination office make every effort to engage in national discussions on Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) prioritisation process for zoonotic diseases so that trypanosomiasis is considered as a priority zoonotic disease.
- The meeting urged PATTEC office to promote greater advocacy and synergy at National, regional and international levels.
- The PATTEC Office and Member States affected by T&T and stakeholders need to urgently develop time bound roadmaps, with clear targets and milestones, towards achieving the control and eradication objectives of T&T as approved by the Heads of States and Governments
- In view of inadequate resources (human and financial), it is recommended that National Governments commit adequate resources for the agriculture sector including for T&T control and eradication as committed in the CAADP/Malabo declaration. MSs were urged to take ownership of the T&T activities leading to eradication.
- All affected countries undertake tsetse control and eradication with renewed vigor so that farming and other socio-economic activities can continue in Tsetse controlled areas till eventual eradication.
- In view of the inadequate human resources capacity of the PATTEC office, it was recommended that this should be strengthened to provide revitalized strategic leadership, coordination and targeted progress.
- The meeting urged PATTEC office, in conjunction with affected countries, to update the overarching continental T&T policy and strategy frame work and Programme to guide RECs and MSs to achieve the objectives.
- Member states and the PATTEC Coordination Office to invest in high caliber technical and managerial staff to support T&T activities in a sustainable way and to meet the coordination function at all levels.
- The meeting recommended PATTEC office to consider the recommendations from the Conference while finalizing its current policy and strategy incorporating evidence generated through research for planning.
- PATTEC Office should assist Member States in developing appropriate partnerships, synergies and collaborations at the National, Regional and international levels.
- It was recommended that the PATTEC initiative report be made by the PATTEC Office at the next meeting of ISCTRC on the progress made on the implementation of the recommendations made. They also reiterated that ISCTRC provides oversight and also regular reports on the progress made on the PATTEC initiative to STC and Summit and keep Member States fully informed.
- Member States urged the ISCTRC council to be strengthened to regularly report progress towards achieving the objectives of Heads of Sates and Governments and make regular recommendations to Member States. In order to do this, sufficient resources must be allocated to the ISCTRC.
- The meeting urged ISCTRC to regularly provide feedback and recommendations towards implementation of the Abuja declaration.