Livestock experts from the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA) under the framework of the Standard methods and Procedures in Animal health Project (SMP-AH) have agreed, during their annual review and planning meeting, on high impact activities to control transboundary animal diseases (TADs) in cross-border areas in the GHoA. Cross-border areas within the GHoA support a large number of vulnerable livestock-keeping communities that normally experience a number of shocks, most importantly drought. Because of drought conditions, animals reared in such environments move across borders in search of pasture and water. Likewise, animals in such areas move for purposes of trade. This kind of movement for either pasture or trade facilitates spread of transboundary animal diseases. It is therefore important for communities in cross-border areas to collaborate, coordinate and harmonize diseases control.
The Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH) Project activities will involve supporting communities to detect and report disease incidents to facilitate prompt and appropriate disease response such as vaccination campaigns in cross-border areas. The capacity of the veterinary services to undertake surveillance, disease control and information sharing will be enhanced. The overall aim is to enhance livestock productivity, trade, livelihoods and resilience of vulnerable groups found in cross-border areas.
The review and planning meeting was held in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania from 8th to 9th February 2016 and attracted a total of 21 experts drawn from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD).
The SMP-AH Project, with financial support from USAID/Kenya East Africa is implemented in nine countries in GHoA, i.e. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The intention of the project is to improve harmonization and coordination of disease prevention and control in the GHoA, in order to create uniform conditions necessary for safe trade with an appropriate level of protection; ease movement of livestock across national borders for trade; enhance food and nutritional security and growth of national economies.