The 8th Annual Meeting of the Regional Animal Health Networks (RAHN) of ECOWAS, held in Cape Verde from September 19 to 23, 2022, provided the opportunity for the country focal points of the Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RESEPI) ) to meet and collect ideas to improve epidemiological surveillance.
of priority animal diseases in the ECOWAS region.
The discussions between experts focused on the evaluation of the epidemiological situation of PCBs, PPR, rabies and foot-and-mouth disease, the risk analyzes already carried out, the capacities of the veterinary services of the Member States in terms of information systems geographic and cartography, and the exchange of information.
on animal health.
Apart from Cameroon (a non-ECOWAS member country but invited to the 8th RAHN) where good progress has been made in collecting and sharing information, the various presentations highlighted the prevalence levels of epidemics in the countries.
Above all, they highlighted the main needs in terms of data collection, improvement of geographic information systems, training in risk analysis and equipment and means of transport (in Cape Verde, for example, only a plane provides a link between the islands ).
There is also a limited number of well-trained personnel (the case of Guinea), the absence of control and surveillance plans in some countries, or simply the lack of economic resources.
The exchanges made it possible to identify activities to be carried out and recommendations to be made to the different actors for the 2022/2023 campaign.
This includes (i) developing/updating a basic risk surveillance plan, (ii) supporting member states in developing capacities for risk assessment and mapping, (iii) strengthening the RESEPI network within the countries to support strategic animal health monitoring and emergency preparedness and response plans.
(iv) support the exchange of animal health data and the harmonization of data collection tools and (v) establish the coordination and implementation of the training program for veterinary professionals in the field of epidemiology (ISAVET).
The resulting Action Plan outlines the planned activities, the expected results, the implementation strategy, a coordinator responsible for the implementation of the activity, the possible source of financing, the implementation schedule, and the institution responsible for monitoring the implementation of the activity.
The Epidemic Surveillance Network (RESEPI) complements the regional institutional framework that includes the Regional Veterinary Committee (RVC) established by the ECOWAS Commission in 2010 and the Network of Veterinary Laboratories (RESOLAB-Laboratory Network), which allows the ECOWAS Commission, to through RAHC, coordinate animal health initiatives in the region.
To remember, the annual meeting of the animal health networks (CVO, RESOLAB and RESEPI) is institutionalized and organized by the RAHC in collaboration with the FAO, AU-IBAR and its traditional partners to serve as a platform for exchange, evaluation of the level of implementation.
of activities during the last year, discussions on challenges and solutions to consider and planning of future actions.
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