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Gambia: Avian Influenza Forum for West African Experts Underway

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  • Gambia: Avian Influenza Forum for West African Experts Underway

    Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201006110626.html

    The Daily Observer (Banjul)
    Gambia: Avian Influenza Forum for West African Experts Underway

    Fatoumata Mbenga
    10 June 2010


    A five-day sub-regional training of trainers for the joint rapid response teams comprising experts from agriculture, health and wildlife sectors, opened on Monday at the Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi.

    The objective of the training is to establish a well equipped team in member states and to build their capacity at community level. Speaking at the ceremony, the permanent secretary 2 at the Ministry of Agriculture, Abdourahman Jobe, informed that The Gambia acknowledges and recognises the important role of AU-IBAR in the development of the animal production in the African continent. "AU IBAR has been instrumental in the eradication of rinderpest and contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia in The Gambia and other African countries through projects and programmes; such as the joint project 15 (JP15), Pan-African Rinderpest Control Programme (PARCP) and the Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootic (PACE)," he remarked.

    He said since the first reported outbreak of Highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the African continent in 2006, The Gambia has greatly stepped up activities geared towards building and strengthening national capacities to deal with the disease. "The Government of The Gambia has been working very closely with AU-IBAR through the Support Programme to Integrated National Action Plans for Avian and Human Influenza (SPINAP-AHI).They have also been working with other partners such as FAO, USDA-APHIS and the USAID STOP AI," he noted.

    Jobe revealed that The Gambia has recently been selected to participate in the coming AU-IBAR project on Vaccines Against Neglected Animal Diseases in Africa (VACNADA). "In The Gambia, VACNADA project will be focused on countrywide mass vaccination campaigns against Pest des Petits Ruminants, which is today the major infectious disease in small ruminants, responsible for most of the morbidity and mortality in sheep and goats throughout the country," he explained. He also took the opportunity to thank AU-IBAR for coming with such an important project and for selecting The Gambia to participate in the project.

    Dr. Baboucarr Jaw, on behalf of the AU-IBAR director, thanked the government of The Gambia for hosting the event and also thanked the participants for accepting their invitation. He informed that the training is implemented by SPINAP and funded by the AU-IBAR at a tune of 24.5 million Euros, and that the project is to enhance the capacity of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in early detection and response to Avian and Human Influenza.

    Dr. Jaw noted that the forum will come to an end in August for member states and December for the AU-IBAR. He observed that in most African countries there are only standard consumers but not standard producers, pointing out that they need to redouble their efforts to become standard producers.

    The director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Kebba Daffeh, welcomed all the participants and said that the theme is a multi-disciplinary theme which comprises health veterinary and agriculture. He also said that the theme is a clear manifestation of the importance attached to Influenza. According to him, Influenza is a major threat to both animals and humanbeings. "We need to deal with it and therefore need to also integrate it to our programmes," he said.
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