The 8th Annual Regional Animal Health Network for the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is being held in Praia, Cape Verde from 19-23 September, 2022, with the objective of taking stock of the progress of ECOWAS Member States in eradicating or controlling PPR, rabies, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP. The meeting further aims to follow up on the implementation of action plans for RESEPI and RESOLAB.
Themed “Horizon 2030: situation, challenges and prospects for the eradication of PPR and Rabies and the control of foot and mouth disease and CBPP, priority animal diseases in the ECOWAS region”,
The speech read on behalf of the Acting Director, AU-IBAR, Dr. Nick Nwankpa expressed AU-IBAR’s appreciation to the ECOWAS/RAHC, FAO, World organization for Animal Health (WOAH), Brooke West Africa and USDA/APHIS for the partnership in addressing health challenges. Dr. Nwankpa also noted that the theme “reflects the animal health situation on the landscape and our collective aspirations. In the recent past, AU-BAR supported Nigeria to address the issue of HPAI and it is currently supporting Cape Verde to demonstrate its freedom status for recognition as PPR and FMD free country by the WOAH in 2023.”
The meeting was assured of AU-IBAR and AU-PANVAC’s committed support to all countries in the fight against priority animal diseases and will continued to maintain strategic partnerships with FAO, WOAH, the RAHC and all stake holders to deliver the needed support to our Member States.
At the country level, the RAHC relies on the Veterinary Laboratory Network (RESOLAB Laboratory Network) and the Epidemio surveillance Network (RESEPI) which were created with the support of FAO and AU-IBAR. The Regional Veterinary Committee (RVC), established by the ECOWAS Commission by Regulation C/Reg.23/11/10 and which brings together the Directors of Veterinary Services, thus completes the regional institutional set-up that enables the ECOWAS Commission, through the RASC, to coordinate animal health initiatives in the region, in accordance with its mandate.
Thus, each year, the annual meeting of the animal health networks (RVC, RESOLAB and RESEPI) is institutionalised and organised by the RAHC in collaboration with FAO, AU IBAR and its traditional partners, to serve as a framework for exchange, evaluation of the level of implementation of activities during the past year and of the results obtained, to discuss difficulties, to envisage solutions and to plan future activities.
The meeting participants are from the Member States: The 15 RESEPI Focal Points in ECOWAS Member States; The 15 RESOLAB Focal Points in ECOWAS Member States; The 15 Directors of Veterinary Services of ECOWAS Member States; and the 15 Presidents of the National Veterinary Associations/Statutory bodies of ECOWAS Member States. A number of guest countries are also present; notably; the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon (National epidemiological and laboratory focal points; and Mauritania & Chad, and a number of Regional and international organisations; notably: ECOWAS Commission, ARAA , WAHO: Regional Coordination Unit REDISSE and PROALAB, RAHC; CILSS: Regional Coordination Unit PRAPS & PREDIP; UEMOA; AU-IBAR, and ECCAS RAHC Central Africa