The success story of the ongoing implementation of the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) project in the Greater Horn of Africa prompted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invite AU-IBAR to participate in the Regional Workshop for the development of an SMP-AH Programme for the SADC Region, held on 9-11 September 2014, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The SADC region wished to learn lessons from AU-IBAR in the development of the SADC SMP-AH programme-an issue conceived during the SADC Livestock Technical Committee (LTC) Meeting that was held in Botswana from 10-12 June 2014.
The main objective of the workshop was to develop a SADC SMP-AH programme with a view to addressing identified gaps and needs in Departments of Veterinary Services regarding the promotion of stable regional and international trade in livestock and livestock products.
In his introductory remarks, the representative of the Chair of the LTC, welcomed participants, and thanked USDA for their support and the people and the Government of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) for hosting the workshop. In his remarks, Mr. B. Hulman from the SADC Secretariat thanked all participants for ably taking part in such an important workshop for the SADC region. In the same vein, he thanked the Government of RSA for hosting the meeting. In his remarks, the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy thanked the people and the Government of the RSA for hosting the meeting, SADC secretariat and USDA in arranging the workshop, and the participants for having created time to attend the meeting. He noted that AU-IBAR was supporting Member States and Regional Economic communities to address the institutional and technical gaps in the prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases as per its mandate. He further observed that the slow growth rate in the livestock sector was not commensurate with the human population growth on the African continent. It was his hope that SMP-AH interventions in the SADC region would make a huge difference in livestock production, especially regarding strengthening capacities for surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory diagnostics, disease control programmes, and communications in Departments of Veterinary Services within the SADC region. The representative of USDA, Ms Trachelle Carr welcomed everybody and thanked RSA for hosting the meeting. In his opening remarks, Dr. Modisane, the Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSA noted the contribution of the livestock to livelihoods, food security and poverty reduction. He emphasized the importance of surveillance and risk analysis in order to meet SPS requirements. He further acknowledged the contribution made by AU-IBAR in the promotion of African countries participating in standard setting.
The following presentation were made: The Concept of Standard Methods and Procedures in support of OIE standards (Andrew Clark); Overview on the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health Project (SMP-AH), (James Wabacha, AU-IBAR); OIE sanitary standards on animal health (Dr. Gideon Bruckner – OIE); Integrated Regional Coordination Mechanism (IRCM) in the SADC region ( Samuel Muriuki, AU-IBAR); Vaccine production, TADs diagnosis and capacity (Dr. M. Mokopasetso – BVI; Dr Alison Lubisi – OVI); SADC animal health Strategy (Mr. Hulman – SADC); SADC TADs project: Good practices and Lessons learned (Dr. Misheck Mulumba – OVI); Implementation of non-geographic approaches to beef trade in SADC Region (Mosiuoa Zachariah Palime – USDA APHIS). Ten Countries (Angola, Botswana, DRC, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbabwe) made country presentations and highlighted strengths, weaknesses, capacity gaps and needs for the Department of Veterinary Services.
The workshop successfully achieved the following:
- the concept of Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) introduced to the Chief Veterinary Officers and their representatives from the SADC region;
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Gaps, and Needs (SWGNs) of the Departments of Veterinary Services in the SADC Region discussed and identified;
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Gaps, and Needs (SWGNs) of the SADC secretariat regarding its ability to coordinate and harmonize disease control and facilitate intra-regional trade in livestock and livestock products discussed and identified;
- key result areas for addressing the SWGNs in SADC SMP-AH programme identified;
- possible activities to achieve the result areas discussed and described; and
- SADC SMP-AH programme including activities, expected results, logical framework and budget drafted.
Main issues discussed included:
- structure of the Livestock Department of SADC and its Livestock Technical Committe, Subcommittees and Working groups;
- Differences between IRCM and SMP-AH;
- Research, training and capacity building;
- Regional cooperation;
- Stakeholders engagement;
- Weak legislation;
- Diagnostic capacity;
- Outbreaks in FMD-vaccinated herds;
- Capacity for surveillance;
- Disease response/contingency plans;
- Knowledge capacity in policy and strategy formulation;
- Information management system (WAHIS, ARIS, LIMS);
- Capitalize on best practices and initiatives from various countries; and
- Implementation of the SMP – should it be regionally or country wide? Following fruitful discussions of the afore-mentioned issues, participants went ahead to develop expected result areas for the SADC SMP-AH project and the respective activities and sub-activities, hence delivered the concept note for the SADC SMP-AH programme.