By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe will on 5 November, 2018 host a regional training workshop on strengthening animal disease surveillance capacity in Southern Africa, according to Leonard Makombe, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) National Communications Officer.
It is reported that the workshop will be hosted through the collaboration of the ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), USAID and Mercy Corps Mongolia.
It is reported that early warning of potential disease outbreaks and the ability to forecast the spread of pathogens to new areas is a pre-requisite for effective containment of epidemic diseases, including zoonoses, such as Anthrax, Rabies, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Rift Valley Fever (RVF), and Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) threats such as, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), African Swine fever (ASF), Newcastle disease, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP).
It is also added that Participatory epidemiology (PE)/ Participatory Disease Surveillance (PDS) is a complementary approach to the other conventional components of active surveillance. It employs Participatory Epidemiological (PE) tools that enhance active involvement of livestock keepers and the community in the analysis of animal disease constraints, in the design, implementation and evaluation of disease control programmes and policies. The method is quick, cost effective and sensitive for detection of potential disease outbreaks and useful in early warning of animal disease occurrence and spread to new areas.
It is against this background that the FAO Sub regional Office for Southern Africa is carrying out a ten-day PDS training for front line staff in the veterinary services. Participants will comprise 35 veterinarians and animal health technicians selected from SADC Member States, to equip them with appropriate animal disease surveillance skills.