Laboratory technicians from the eight IGAD Member States have received training on laboratory methods and techniques for the diagnosis of the major trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) in the IGAD Region.
In the training programme, organised by AU-IBAR under the STSD Project in Cairo, Egypt, from 15th to 20th August, 2015, 23 animal health personnel drawn from diagnostic laboratories of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda have taken part. Experienced laboratory specialists of Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) of Egypt, which is one of the leading animal health research and diagnostic centers in Africa that can offer quality training on diagnostic techniques, have given the training.
In their six-day stay, participants acquired the practical techniques that can be applied to diagnose FMD, RVF, PPR and CBPP, as well as on quality assurance standards of laboratories and procedures. They also obtained knowledge on the diagnostic methods and procedures, with special emphasis on ELISA techniques and on how to standardise and harmonise the diagnostic methods being used in the Region.
The AU-IBAR and IGAD Team that made a working visit to Ethiopia and Sudan have achieved to develop a consolidated national work plans for the implementation of the piloting programme of Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS) in the two countries. The Team, composed of experts from AU-IBAR, IGAD and two Consultants hired by the STSD Project, made a working visit to Ethiopia from 13th to 15th and to the Sudan on 22nd and 23rd August 2015, aiming at launching the piloting programme of LITS.
Having a fruitful discussion with the officials and experts in the two countries, the Team has successfully forged a common understanding on objectives and strategies, and developed feasible work plans for the piloting programmes. During its stay in the two countries, the Team had the chance to explain the Ethiopian State Minister, Dr Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, and the Sudanese Minister, Prof Musa Tibin, of the objectives and scopes of the LITS pilot activities. Besides, the Team met the national LITS Teams in both countries and discussed issues related to implementations as well as visited livestock markets and feedlots in Khartoum, Sudan.
The LITS pilot programme is being implemented in the two countries following the proposal made by a team of experts from IGAD/ICPALD and AU-IBAR. This has been later endorsed by the Steering Committee Members of the STSD Project.
Representatives of the IGAD Member States expressed their commitment to rollout continuous awareness programmes in their respective countries to accelerate the establishment and implementation of national Animal Disease Surveillance and Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS).
At a regional awareness and message validation workshop, held on August 13th and 14th, 2015 at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, National Focal Points of the STSD Project and Communication Experts from the IGAD Member States expressed their readiness to create awareness on the fact that disease surveillance and LITS are the critical factors to enhance regional trade and maximise livelihoods services. They reiterated that the awareness and sensitisation programmes are instrumental to bring policy makers and the grassroots on board to ensure utmost support and coordination in the implementations of the systems.
Highlighting the vital role the awareness porogarmme constitutes in the STSD Project, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR, underscored that the support and cooperation of all stakeholders are critical to achieve a robust disease reporting and animal identification and traceability systems in the IGAD Member States. To realise this, Professor Elsawalhy noted, a targeted awareness programme to these stakeholders is vital during project implementation.
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