Central South Somalia and Somaliland poised to unveiling a community level disease reporting system before the current year runs out.
In a workshop, held on the 8th and 9th August 2015, in Hargeisa, Somaliland livestock farmers, field veterinarians, private veterinary practitioners, and universities have unanimously agreed to launch the system in Central Somalia and Somaliland in the coming October and November, respectively.
The workshop, convened by AU-IBAR/SMP-AH Project, in cooperation with IGAD/ICPALD, provided the forum for all relevant stakeholders to find a way for developing and improving community-based animal disease reporting system in Somaliland and Central South Somalia as a means to improve passive surveillance and disease reporting. Over forty relevant participants from Awdal, Beledweywe, Dollow, Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Saaxil, Sabawanaag, Salahley and Salal attended the workshop.
In opening the workshop, Dr Jama Mohamed Odowa, Director General of the Ministry of Livestock underscored the fact that livestock has immense contribution to the economies of Somaliland and hence there is a need for effective delivery of animal health services across the country. To this effect, he reiterated, participants from Somaliland and Central South Somalia needed to join hands to come up with a workable strategy to have the community-based animal disease reporting system implemented in all regions.
In support of Somaliland’s Ministry of Livestock, The Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) Project successfully developed the capacities of the staff of the Ministry on the methods and skills they need to identify and use the local knowledge in the surveillance and control of trans-boundary animal diseases. In so doing, participants were introduced to Participatory Disease surveillance (PDS) in order to help them integrate indigenous knowledge into disease control.
The workshop, held from 6th to 7th August, 2015, in Hargesa, Somaliland, pull together a total of 20 participants from the national and regional Mobile Veterinary Teams, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Disease Reporting Centres, Epidemiology and Data Management Units, Quarantine Stations and Regional Veterinary Coordinators (RVOs), located in Awdal, Togdheer, Hargeisa, Maroodi jeex, Cergavo, Saxil, Salaxlay, Sool and Berbera.
Opening the workshop, the Director General in the Ministry of Livestock, Somaliland, Dr Jama Odowa recognized the prominent place the livestock sector constitutes in Somaliland’s national economy and expressed his government’s commitment to combat Participants recognized the incredible worked done by Standards Methods and Procedures in Animal Health project implemented by AU-IBAR in partnership with IGAD with financial support from USAID for supporting the training on Participatory Disease Surveillance. This would help in applying the best approaches that uphold local contexts and knowledge in the control of transboundary animal diseases.
Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries expressed its determination to establish a well-structured and rigorous national animal disease identification and reporting system, which fully recognises the prominent role the livestock keepers can play as primary sources of data and information on animal diseases.
In a two-day consultative workshop organised by AU-IBAR, through its SMP-AH Project, in Kampala, Uganda, on 23rd and 24th July, 2015, participants reiterated the need to put the system in place to ensure an evidence-based decision making, which allow a timely and effective animal disease prevention and control in the country. The workshop, which drew over 60 pertinent stakeholders from the livestock sector, requested AU-IBAR/SMP-AH to speed up the establishment of the system through providing relevant trainings and hardware, supporting awareness creation and experience sharing activities, as well as availing sufficient numbers of SMP manuals. In the same manner, participants have also requested the Ministry to nominate village disease reporters from farmer groups and cooperatives, recruit more veterinary officers, develop a mechanism to allowtwo-way information exchange between various actors and ensure institutionalisation of the system.
In opening the workshop, Dr Wesonga Wanderema, Commissioner for Animal Health at the Ministry, emphasised the need for a strong animal disease reporting system, which entails continuous passive and active surveillance, diagnosis of diseases, and recording of data on the disease situation, to contain existing and emerging livestock diseases which have critical importance to trade and livelihoods services. On her part, Dr Nantima Noelina, Principal Veterinary Epidemiologist at the Ministry, has underlined the importance of the SMPs and syndromic manuals developed by AU-IBAR/SMP-AH Project and urged experts to use it in their daily works of disease surveillance, diagnosis and reporting. On behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, Dr Joseph Magona has also expressed his firm believe that the Ministry will materialise a robust community-based disease reporting system, based on the syndromic manuals, and create a very workable reporting chain, which is fully integrated with both the national and continental ARIS databases.
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