A bilateral cross-border meeting was held in Naivasha, Kenya from 7th- 9th December 2015 with the aim of supporting harmonization and coordination of veterinary activities for control of trade related TADs in cross border areas along the Kenya-Tanzania border. The meeting brought together 53 participants from Kenya, Tanzania, East African Community (EAC) secretariat and African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). Participants consisted of senior members of the National Veterinary Departments, County governments and District Councils, Livestock keepers, representatives from Local NGO and State department of Foreign Affairs.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona on behalf of the Director of AU – IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, noted that the bilateral cross-border meeting for Kenya and Tanzania was intended to operationalize action plans developed during previous regional cross-border meetings through developing a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries to allow countries work together in cross-border areas.
In his remarks, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Acting Director of IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), Dr Solomon Munyua, stated that there was need to recognize the fact people in cross-border areas along the Kenya-Tanzania border depended on livestock for their livelihood, a fact that justified two governments developing an agreement to help effective control of transboundary animal diseases that affect their livestock. He further encouraged sister nations to ensure sustained efforts and commitment in developing the bilateral agreement to completion and thereafter to cooperate fully with each other during its implementation. Finally, he requested the two sister nations to domesticate the MoU with legal language applicable.
In her remarks, Dr. Niwael Mtui-Malamsha, Acting Assistant Director for TADs & Zoosanitary Inspectorate services, the Head of Delegation from Tanzania, thanked AU – IBAR and ICPALD for their continued support to the countries through SMP – AH project.
During 2015 Uganda reported frequent outbreaks of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in several districts in the north eastern, southern and in the central region around Lake Victoria crest posing a high risk of spread to the entire country with possible spill-over to neighboring countries. FMD outbreaks were registered in the Uganda-Tanzania border districts of; Isingiro (May 2015) and Rakai (February and July 2015). In addition, FMD re-emerged in central Uganda in June and was reported in Nakaseke district in July 2015 and then rapidly spread to neighbouring districts of Luwero (July 2015), Kyankwanzi (July 2015), Mukono (July 2015) and Mpigi (July 2015).
Following the FMD outbreaks in Uganda, Uganda Government made a request to the African Union –Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) through the SMP-AH project for support towards implementation of a vaccination campaign against FMD in selected districts in cross-border areas and those at high risk. The SMP-AH project immediately considered the proposal under the framework for implementation of vaccination campaigns against priority diseases in cross-border areas and adjoining areas with emphasis on CBPP, FMD and LSD along the Uganda-Tanzania border discussed earlier during a regional cross-border harmonization meeting for Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda held from 25th to 27th August 2014 at Mwanza in Tanzania. Accordingly, Uganda went ahead and mobilized over 300,000 doses of FMD vaccines while AU-IBAR provided over USD 67,000 towards facilitating logistics and personnel allowance.
A community-based disease reporting in Djibouti was discussed at workshop held by the Standard methods and procedures in Animal Health that took place in Djibouti from 14 to 15 October 2015. This was aimed at strengthening passive surveillance and grassroot disease recognition. The community-based disease reporting system was introduced to total 56 stakeholders in the livestock sector, including farmers, representatives of agro-livestock breeding associations auxiliary veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the capital and those of land, veterinary private practitioners, and the AU-IBAR. Most stakeholders present came from various parts of the Republic of Djibouti in the regions of Arta, Ali-Sabieh, Dikhil, Tadjourah, Obock and Djibouti.
In his speech Dr. Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, stressed that the workshop to create the disease-reporting system in Djibouti was intended to strengthen the recognition of animal diseases at Community level through the use of syndromic surveillance manual, and improve networking among pastoralist communities, animal health service providers and other stakeholders, in order to facilitate the supervision and control of animal diseases in the field and in the regions. Finally, he encouraged all stakeholders’ livestock in Djibouti to adopt the use of syndromic surveillance manual of disease and rapidly report diseases to the regulators.
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