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.
Methodology and approach
The following approaches were used during the meeting:
- Power point presentations by STSD National Focal Point (NFP) made on the execution of STSD project supported activities; - show case achievements, lessons learned, best practice and way forward.
- STSD Coordination Offices (AU-IBAR and IGAD) made a presentation of the lessons learned, suggested sustainability and follow-on investments at the regional level – achievements, institutional learning and strategic issues at the regional level.
- Presentation on the project exit strategy.
- Lessons learned and strategic issues at the regional level will be presented by the central coordination with special emphasis on coordination, capacity building and sustainability, and future strategies - based on analysis.
- Sustaining the STSD achievements/benefits ongoing and upcoming initiatives at national and regional levels.
The meeting was officially opened by Director of Veterinary Services of Kenya, Dr. Obadiah N. Njagi. Opening remarks were also made Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director of IGAD/ICPALD and Dr. Baboucarr Jaw on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy.
The proceedings of the meeting that were conducted enabled the participants to address the various topics highlighted in the agenda:
- STSD Project in Perspective – Expected Results(output & outcome), Achievements, Lessons Learned, Challenges Opportunities for the Future.
- Presentation of Country reports, lessons learnt and best practices.
- STSD Exit Strategy.
- On-going and future initiatives on disease surveillance in the IGAD Region.
- PPR&RVF Inter-laboratory Proficiency testing in IGAD Region.
- Way Forward – Analytical Synthesis of Issues arising from the presentations.
- Plenary Discussions on lessons learned, best practices and how best to sustain benefits realized through the STSD Project at country and regional levels.
Following exhaustive, open and fruitful sessions, the expected outcomes of the STSD closeout meeting will achieve the following outputs:
- Presentations of achievements realized by all the implementing countries. The main emphasis will be one achievements realized regarding national activities, lessons learned, unique case studies (CSS on priority TADs and Pilot LITS) and arrangements for sustainability of realized benefits.
- Presentation and discussion of the STSD exit strategy.
- Sustainability of gains realized through the STSD project, with special emphasis on linkages with other projects/programs and ongoing activities at national and regional including AU-IBAR; IGAD/ICPALD, FAO among others.
Recommendations and way forward
After fruitful discussions and deliberations, participants of the closeout meeting made relevant recommendations to MSs, IGAD/ICPALD, AU-IBAR and, technical and development partners.
- To finalize the CSS activity and prepare scientific publication in a per review journal.
- To prepare and submit the final report of the project.
- To put a mechanism in place to sustain the benefits of the project in their respective country such as National Animal Disease Coordination Mechanism and strengthening National Animal Health Networks.
- To formulate national policy, strategy and legal framework that support implementation of LITS.
- To mainstream LITS and animal disease surveillance and control including the networks in their National Investment Plan (NIP) or National Agriculture and Investment Plan (NAIP).
- To incorporate the national networks in national policies and strategy documents.
- To take stock of the CSS outcomes to formulate and implement effective control strategies that include risk-based surveillance strategies and the coordination and harmonization of disease control interventions at regional level.
- To finalize the national PPR strategy and mainstream it in the NIP/NAIP.
- To ensure the sustainability of the project benefits/achievements in MS at national and regional levels such as the Regional Animal Health Network continues.
- To continue regular communication and information sharing to the member states and at regional level.
- IGAD and AU-IBAR to support resource mobilization for LITS at national and regional.
- To assist MS in formulating and implementing effective control strategies that include risk-based surveillance strategies and the coordination and harmonization of control interventions at a regional level.
- In collaboration with IGAD/ICPALD to develop a road map for the detailed completion of the CSS activities at national and regional levels like support to complete the data cleaning, entry, analysis and publication.
- To assist in the publication of the CSS activity in AU-IBAR Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa (BAHPA).
- To label the designed CSS database using epi-info platform for the use by MS in Africa.
- To ensure the sustainability of the project benefits/achievements in MS at national and regional levels, support to the Regional Animal Health Network among others is essential.
- AU-IBAR and IGAD/ICPALD in collaboration with other partners to support resource mobilization for LITS and CSS at national and regional levels.
- In collaboration with AU-PANVAC and IGAD/ ICPALD to consolidate the IGAD Members States diagnostic capacity for PPR and RVF by conducting a regular Inter-Laboratory Comparison to demonstrate competence and establish degree of equivalence between results of the participating laboratories.
FAO, OIE and EU
- To continue the partnership with AU-IBAR, ICPALD and member States to address the gaps that rose-up during the implementation of STSD activities.
The participants expressed a word of appreciation to AU-IBAR and IGAD for continuous support to MSs in the animal resource development in the region. They also thanked EU for financial support for the STSD project.