Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Regional experts in animal diseases have ended a five-day meeting in Accra, Ghana, with wide-ranging recommendations, including the call for the setting up of an emergency fund at country level for the management of health crises, including trans-boundary animal diseases, as part of efforts to promote the production of quality foods and exports in the ECOWAS region.
At their 2-6 April 2012 meeting, the experts also called on Member States to improve funding to veterinary services by allocating national budgets to Trans-boundary Diseases (TADs) and Zoonoses, according to a statement issued Thursday by the ECOWAS Commission.
Furthermore, the Commission, Member States and civil society were urged to establish
a network of West African veterinary laboratories, and a West African epidemiological surveillance Network on a system for collecting and disseminating data.
They said a consultative framework should also be initiated involving regional training institutions in veterinary medicine for a harmonization of curricula and capacity building in educational and research institutions.
The meeting also recommended that funding be organized for regional epidemiological surveillance networks coordinated by ECOWAS as well as capacity building for national networks.
Other recommendations include that the Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone should be urgently provided with veterinary doctors to reduce their deficits in public veterinary officers; and the recognition of two reference laboratories already indentified as part of the regional laboratory network – the National Laboratory for Livestock Breeding and Research in Dakar, Senegal, and the National Veterinary Research Institute Laboratory in Vom, Nigeria – and also to strengthen their capacity by allocating sufficient resources to them.
The meeting was held within the framework for achieving the ECOWAS objectives on regional trans-boundary animal disease and infections, developing Epi-surveillance strategy, and the harmonization of laboratory procedures in the region.
Participants included representatives of the Association for the Promotion of Animal Breeding in the Sahel and Savannah (APESS) and the Confederation of African Animal Breeders (CORET), with experts in animal health and disease surveillance serving as resource persons.
-0- PANA SEG 26April2012