AU-IBAR joins the global community in marking the 10th Anniversary of the Global eradication of Rinderpest. AU-IBAR was established in 1951 to coordinate the study and control of rinderpest in Africa to combat the disease at a Pan-African level. For six decades, AU-IBAR, in partnership with the Member States, FAO, OIE, national, regional, and international research institutions, and financing partners, coordinated a series of three major continent-wide programmes and one regional programme:
• The Joint project 15 (JP 15) on rinderpest: 1962 – 1975
• The Pan-African Rinderpest Campaign (PARC): 1986 – 1998 – led to the establishment of AU-PANVAC.
• The Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE): 1999 - 2007
• The Somali Ecosystem Rinderpest Eradication Coordination Unit (SERECU) phases I and II: 2006 - 2010.
Following the eradication of Rinderpest and considering the risk of its re-emergence and the lessons learned during the successive programmes, AU-IBAR and AU-PANVAC spearheaded the development of a Post Rinderpest Eradication strategy for Africa. AU-IBAR also published a book to commemorate Rinderpest eradication entitled “The Eradication of Rinderpest From Africa: A Great Milestone”, as an enduring documentation of the scourge in Africa and to share the lessons learnt in its eradication to serve as a model for the control and eradication of other transboundary animal diseases.
As we mark the 10th Anniversary of Rinderpest eradication, let us remember the need to maintain vigilance to ensure sustained global freedom. In this regard, AU-IBAR working with partners will continue to:
• Maintain Rinderpest awareness amongst key stakeholders, in particular the Chief Veterinary Officers, during the regular annual meetings convened by AU-IBAR;
• Advocate for the retention of Rinderpest in the veterinary Curriculum through the Association of Veterinary Education Establishments (2A2E-V) and the African Association of Veterinary Statutory Bodies (2VSB) that were established with the support of AU-IBAR;
• Enlist political support at the highest levels of Government in Africa by advocacy for the importance of continued vigilance for Rinderpest through the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) of Ministers in Charge of Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE);
• Within its programmes and projects ensure continued vigilance for Rinderpest;
• Work with Member States to validate the Continental Contingency plan and cascade it to the Regional and National levels.
The global eradication of rinderpest improved livestock-keeping communities' food security and livelihoods and the sanitary safety of trade in livestock and livestock products.
Let us Remain Vigilant to safeguard the well-earned Global freedom from Rinderpest.