Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses Compendium for Africa

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Encyclopaedic factsheets on the 39 most important TADs and Zoonoses in Africa

The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is a specialized technical office of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission (AUC). AU-IBAR's Mandate is to support and coordinate the development and utilization of Africa's animal resources (livestock, fisheries and wildlife) for human wellbeing and economic development in Africa. Among the key strategic areas of focus to realize this mandate is "reducing the impact of transboundary animal diseases (TADs) and zoonoses on livelihoods and public health in Africa". Besides their public health implications, animal diseases present a barrier to trade and have a major impact on food security. The emergence and re-emergence of TADs and zoonoses and their impact on human health is a growing concern in Africa and globally. Millions of dollars are spent annually by various actors on research, treatment, control, eradication and prevention of TADs and zoonoses. Prevention of these diseases is thus a key priority for AU-IBAR.

It has been recognized that the majority of institutions mandated to control TADs and zoonoses and other stakeholders in Africa do not have easy access to reliable, timely and comprehensive information and knowledge to inform their actions and decisions. In an effort to facilitate the execution of its mandate and support the effective participation of all stakeholders in the management of TADs and zoonoses, AU-IBAR supports initiatives aimed at availing current and comprehensive data, information and knowledge on the diseases. Improved access to scientific information and local knowledge would further help to develop systems for preventing and controlling TADs and zoonoses, emerging and re-emerging diseases and empower technical personnel in the continent to be more effective. In furtherance of this support, AU-IBAR has embarked on an initiative to gather, analyze, organize and document comprehensive data, information and knowledge on TADs and zoonoses in a sound and systematic manner for dissemination in form of a compendium to Member States, Regional Economic Communities, partners and other relevant stakeholders.

The development of the compendium, which is an extensive encyclopedic and multimedia knowledge base containing comprehensive data, information, maps, figures and other images on priority TADs and zoonoses in Africa has been completed and posted on the website access. It will serve as a reference tool and knowledge resource to be used to mitigate the sustained threat, emergence and reemergence of TADS and zoonoses, assure rapid response to disease emergencies and enhance public awareness on their consequences and approaches for risk reduction. It provides easy access to comprehensive and up-to-date information to aid disease control, eradication and prevention. The compendium will also facilitate and contribute to harmonization of disease prevention and control strategies at national, regional and continental levels. Further, it will strengthen networking among experts in Africa and help to position AU-IBAR as a knowledge hub for animal health and resources professionals on the continent. The compendium builds on AU-IBAR's existing knowledge, best practices, experience and lessons learnt to provide a holistic reference tool on TADs and zoonoses in Africa.

Audience for the compendium includes veterinary practitioners, researchers, educationists, policy makers, livestock extensionists, development workers and livestock keepers and traders. The compendium can be accessed freely by professionals from African Union (AU) Member States, Regional Economic Communities, partners and other stakeholders. To make the compendium truly rich in African content, subject matter specialists on animal diseases will be accorded an opportunity to contribute to the content through planned annual reviews and updates. Periodic alerts will be sent out to invite the participation by identified subject matter specialists.