Strategic Programme 1 : TADs and Zoonoses

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3. Opportunities

The liberalization of international trade, with the formalization of sanitary rules under the WTO Agreement on the Application of SPS Measures, has created additional pressure for countries to be able to demonstrate that they have an effective veterinary service capable of monitoring and reporting livestock disease status. There is, therefore, an increasing global interest in improving veterinary services in developing countries in order to improve the control of TADs at par with the developed world. The trend in recent years for governments to decentralize and privatize many services has had particular implications for the control of TADs, for which a solid line of command needs to be maintained between the central veterinary authorities and operational field staff. In addition, while quality veterinary services are essential for TADs control and eradication, it is increasingly recognized that, with appropriate levels of backstopping, community-based animal health (CAH) delivery systems in remote, under-serviced areas can be key means of strengthening the veterinary services in most of Africa.

4. Key Results Areas

Animal diseases pose the greatest immediate threat when they occur as epidemics or when they are emerging in ecologically favourable environments, with few natural factors to limit their spread and no local skills and experience to manage them. In these instances economic losses can be considerable and marginalised communities can be most severely affected. The control of TADs is an international public good that calls for regional and international cooperation as efforts by Member States acting alone cannot be effective. Moreover,ensuring multi-stakeholder and multi-country collective action is a challenge as often the parties involved have different perspectives, incentives and operational capacities for participation. In order to reduce the impact of TADs and zoonoses on livelihoods and public health, AU-IBAR will spearhead the development, coordination and implementation of measures to improve veterinary services in Africa under the following key result areas:

  • Improved veterinary governance (policy and legislative frameworks, human and financial resources, physical infrastructure).
  • Improved prevention, control and eradication of major TADs and zoonoses.
  • Enhanced cooperation between veterinary and public health services.
  • Improved knowledge on the epidemiology and control of TADs and zoonoses.
  • Enhanced capacity for animal disease control feasibility studies.

Outcomes and impacts

Improvement in overall veterinary governance underpinned by capacity building in epidemiological surveillance, risk and socioeconomic analysis and laboratory diagnosis; enhanced information gathering, management, sharing and networking; and better understanding of the changing patterns of animal diseases would guarantee holistic approaches in the design of disease prevention and control strategies. Such all-inclusive strategies, when implemented in
a well coordinated manner, would effectively reduce the occurrence of TADs and zoonoses and concurrently assure rapid responses. In the long run, these efforts would improve national and regional economies and food security, protect livelihoods, ensure food safety and minimize the risk to human health.