A closeout meeting of the Improving Animal Disease Surveillance in Support of Trade in the IGAD Members (STSD) Project, an EU funded project, was organized by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the IGAD/ICPALD on 12th January 2018 at Travellers Beach Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. A total of 24 participants from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda attended the meeting as well as technical staffs from AU-IBAR, IGAD/ICPALD, AU-PANVAC and FAO.
Rationale and objectives
The overall objective was to bring together all the STSD beneficiary countries to share experience, lessons learned, best practices, Challenges, opportunities and gaps on project implementation, as well as share thoughts on the way forward and recommendations for countries to sustain achievements/benefits realized through the project.
The meeting is also intended to provide an opportunity to strengthen coordination, networking and information sharing among all the IGAD Members States participating in the project. Thus, it is expected to present an opportunity to share ideas and make commitments on important issues related to national and regional coordination mechanisms and networks, common cross-border strategies, joint program/activities, collaboration between livestock key stakeholders, as well as communication sectors at national and supranational levels. Important lessons learned and interventions introduced to mitigate gaps will be shared and their -sustainability discussed.
These include especially the following:
- National and Regional Coordination Mechanism including national and regional animal health networks.
- Enhancement of Disease Surveillance, especially harmonization of surveillance systems, information sharing and the Risk Based approach to disease surveillance.
- Enhancement of Livestock identification and traceability systems (LITS) at national and regional levels.
- The sustainable capacity building of Africa's animal/human health systems.
- Discussion on the "STSD and SMP-AH idea" and the way forward with the aim objective of developing a new program to further develop the capacity of National Animal Diseases Surveillance Systems (NADSS) in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA) Beyond 2018.
Laboratory technicians from the eight IGAD Member States have received training on laboratory methods and techniques for the diagnosis of the major trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) in the IGAD Region.
In the training programme, organised by AU-IBAR under the STSD Project in Cairo, Egypt, from 15th to 20th August, 2015, 23 animal health personnel drawn from diagnostic laboratories of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda have taken part. Experienced laboratory specialists of Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) of Egypt, which is one of the leading animal health research and diagnostic centers in Africa that can offer quality training on diagnostic techniques, have given the training.
In their six-day stay, participants acquired the practical techniques that can be applied to diagnose FMD, RVF, PPR and CBPP, as well as on quality assurance standards of laboratories and procedures. They also obtained knowledge on the diagnostic methods and procedures, with special emphasis on ELISA techniques and on how to standardise and harmonise the diagnostic methods being used in the Region.
The AU-IBAR and IGAD Team that made a working visit to Ethiopia and Sudan have achieved to develop a consolidated national work plans for the implementation of the piloting programme of Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS) in the two countries. The Team, composed of experts from AU-IBAR, IGAD and two Consultants hired by the STSD Project, made a working visit to Ethiopia from 13th to 15th and to the Sudan on 22nd and 23rd August 2015, aiming at launching the piloting programme of LITS.
Having a fruitful discussion with the officials and experts in the two countries, the Team has successfully forged a common understanding on objectives and strategies, and developed feasible work plans for the piloting programmes. During its stay in the two countries, the Team had the chance to explain the Ethiopian State Minister, Dr Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, and the Sudanese Minister, Prof Musa Tibin, of the objectives and scopes of the LITS pilot activities. Besides, the Team met the national LITS Teams in both countries and discussed issues related to implementations as well as visited livestock markets and feedlots in Khartoum, Sudan.
The LITS pilot programme is being implemented in the two countries following the proposal made by a team of experts from IGAD/ICPALD and AU-IBAR. This has been later endorsed by the Steering Committee Members of the STSD Project.
- IGAD Member States to Embark on Extensive Awareness Programmes on Disease Reporting and Livestock Identification and Traceability
- Director reaffirms AU-IBAR’s commitment for better animal disease surveillance and control
- IGAD Member Countries commend STSD implementation – urge more actions to speeding-up cross-sectional surveys of priority diseases
- STSD Implementing Partners Discussed Progress & Challenges in 2014 and Developed Work Plan for 2015 Activities