Maintaining animal health is a team effort, requiring adequate policy personnel with good vision, veterinary personnel in the field with high awareness, laboratory personnel with required expertise and resources to appropriately process submitted samples and participation of stakeholders who are in constant contact with animals.
In animal health management, it is imperative to detect diseases whenever they occur and more so to do so as early as possible before they spread and cause more harm. However, in many parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), the number of veterinary personnel is low making it necessary to involve people in constant contact with animals such as herders, livestock keepers, livestock traders, butchers, truckers, marketers and processors to participate in disease reporting. Often these non-professionals are aware of syndromes in animals such as pneumonia or diarrhoea, but lack the specific disease knowledge that is essential for ensuring that the disease information informs the national surveillance for the transboundary animal diseases (TADs).
Luckily, this lack in specific disease knowledge among such livestock grassroot stakeholders has been addressed by recent developments in the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health Project through the publication of "A Field Manual of Animal Disease by Syndromes" which contains photographs of clinical signs and lesions typical of specific TADs. It is produced using highly durable waterproof paper and spiral binding with colour photographs embedded into plastic pages to allow for easy cleaning with damp cloth in case of filth and to avoid fading. The manual is intended to help all those in contact with animals to recognize certain disease characteristics, and transmit information to responsible veterinary personnel through appropriate means such as mobile phones.
The ARIS2 national training for Gabonese Republic was conducted from 3rd – 6th March 2014 at Libreville. The training is aimed at supporting Animal Resources data management in the country through the use of the Animal Resources Information (ARIS2) application developed by AU-IBAR.
The training session was declared open the national Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Dr. Daniel OBAME ONDO after brief introduction of the objectives of the training by the ARIS coordinator, Dr Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed and opening remarks by the regional VET-GOV coordinator Dr. Demsa BASHIROU. The ARIS coordinator explained that at the end of this training, the national reporting officers and field staff will be able to use ARIS to submit their reports at national regional, continental and global level.
The director of African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy and the COMESA Reinforcing Veterinary Governance (VET-GOV) program coordinator Dr. Yoseph S. Mamo paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Agro-Industry and Food Security (MAIFS) Hon. Satya Vegash Faugoo and Permanent Secretary Mr. Ashis Kumar Hoolass, on Wednesday, 19 March 2014. During the visit to Ministry, Professor Elsawalhy and Hon Faugoo discussed various pertinent issues related to regional livestock development, diseases control and the progress being made in the implementation of VET-GOV's programs in the COMESA region and the continent. Honorable Minister appreciated the good work that AU-IBAR and COMESA is doing to address national and regional institutional gaps including livestock policies, strategies and veterinary legislations. He also commended AU-IBAR for granting pilot activity project entitled as "Evaluation of Basic Veterinary Care in Mauritius".
Following the curtsey visit, the Mauritius Pilot Activity Project was signed between the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources in the capital city, Port Luis, on 21st March 2014.
Nairobi Kenya. Twenty eight veterinary officers from the Greater Horn of Africa are undertaking an integrated training programme in Surveillance and epidemiology of trade-related transboundary animal diseases (TADs). The training programme which commenced on February 24th 2014 is being conducted by the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The training runs for thirteen weeks in three phases. Phase I runs from 24th February to 28th March 2014 while phase two and three will run from 29th March to 27th April 2014 and 28th April to 23rd May 2014, respectively. At the end of phase 1, participants will develop a reform action plan (PAP) relevant to needs of their respective veterinary departments that they will be expected to implement in their respective departments.
The objective of the training programme is to bring together epidemiologists from the departments of veterinary services in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA) to equip them with knowledge and skills in functional use of surveillance and epidemiology to manage and control trade-related transboundary animal diseases; enhance communication and cooperation between the personnel of epidemiology units throughout the region and maximize use of regional knowledge resources in order to strengthen the teaching of epidemiology through linkages between academia and industry.
The workshop on exit strategy for the National SPS Committee of Guinea was held on 3rd and 4th March 2014 at the Hotel Petit Bateau in Conakry. Forty eight members of the national SPS committee (NSPSC) of Guinea, representatives of AU-IBAR, of FAO and of OIF attended the workshop.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Marc YOMBOUNO, Minister of Trade accompanied by his colleague, El -Hadj Alpha Ousmane Diallo, Minister of Livestock and Animal Production.
The presentation of the Annual Report 2013 has raised many questions and debates. But ultimately, the Committee was commended for the results achieved, despite the political events that marked the year 2013 in Guinea. Committee members were encouraged to take more online training to enable them to participate in advanced training sessions organized by WTO in Geneva or in regions / continents. Presentations made by each of the three sisters in SPS (Codex Alimentarius, OIE and IPPC) helped to understand their roles and respective responsibilities and the need for them to work in synergy within the national SPS committee.