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AU-IBAR and COMESA Strengthen the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Quanrantine Practices and Procedures

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© 2017 AU-IBAR/@AMontasser: Cattel in quarantine station in Djibouti.© 2017 AU-IBAR/@AMontasser: Cattel in quarantine station in Djibouti.A training of trainers (ToT) on quarantine practices and procedures was held from 25th-29th April 2017 at Venus Hotel in Kinshasa, DRC.

The purpose and scope of setting up of Quarantine Stations is to prevent the incoming of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs) and zoonotic diseases into the country through importation of livestock and livestock products and also out of the country through export. The increased and faster international trade and travel exposes every country to the danger of infiltration of known and unknown transmissible diseases which have the potential of very serious and rapid spread, adverse socio-economic and human/animal health consequences.

There are many infectious diseases of livestock origin which are prevalent in our continent and also present in DRC. It is, therefore, necessary that exotic diseases do not gain entry into DRC and out of DRC to other countries through movement of livestock and livestock product from across the borders. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in collaboration with African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) through the “Reinforcing Veterinary Governance Programme” has organized TOT on quarantine practices and procedures to build the capacity of staff working at border quarantine in RDC.

Thus, the overall objective of the training was to strengthen the operational capacity of animal quarantine staff in order to improve their services to their beneficiaries and ensure the country is safe from entrance of exotic diseases and also protect other from diseases that prevail in the country.

The specific objectives were the following:

  • To train trainers in quarantine operation and management.
  • To develop training manual that can be used in the future training.
  • To discuss on diseases of economic and zoonotic importance and the use of quarantine in limiting the transmission of diseases from one country to the other.

The training workshop brought together Eighteen (18) Senior Staffs of DRC animal and plant quarantine Services (SQAV).

© 2017 AU-IBAR. Group photo: Participants of the training workshop, 25 April 2017, Kinshasa, DRC.© 2017 AU-IBAR. Group photo: Participants of the training workshop, 25 April 2017, Kinshasa, DRC.The meeting was officially opened by, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of DRC Mr. Alexandre BASUBI ISHIKITILO representing the Minister. Opening remarks were also given by Dr. Honoré N’Lemba Mabela, the Director of animal Production and Health and Dr. Hiver Boussini, representing AU-IBAR and COMESA.

During the 5-day training, the participants were given theoretical and practical trainings on quarantine practices and procedures according to OIE terrestrial animal Health Code and International Animal Health Regulations (IHR). Case studies and field visit were also undertaken in order to complete the training.

The key topics covered were the following:

  • Current status of quarantine management and practices in DRC, pre-import certification, legal and regulatory framework, challenges and opportunities.
  • Quarantine biosecurity in the PAQ/border quarantine in relation to OIE standards; a brief on the requisite facilities and personnel were provided (purpose, objectives and OIE Code).
  • Overview of the major TADs of concern to DRC through importation.
  • PAQ/border quarantine location, facilities, practices including risk mitigation, personnel, records ,etc.
  • Animal welfare.
  • Case study on problems or difficulties were discussed during work in quarantine stations, the trainees discussed and proposed solutions with the help of the tutor.
  • Communication between exporting and importing countries.
  • Veterinary health Certification.
  • Case study on Health certification and trade barrier.
  • Requirements of Importing and exporting countries.

At the end of the training participants made the key recommendation to both the Government of DRC and partners (COMESA, AU-IBAR, OIE, and FAO) in order to improve and maintain minimum standards of animal and plant quarantine services in DRC.

Participants expressed their gratitude for conducting this important training which will definitively improve their daily work in their respective service.

The Government of DRC commended COMESA and AU-IBAR for their continuous support in animal resource development and requested for more support and technical assistance in developing animal health and disease prevention and control strategy.