The Regional Coordination Committee for the Control of peste des petit ruminants (PPR) and other small ruminant diseases (SRDs); and the Regional PPR Technical Experts Committee (PPR/SRD-TEC) are mechanism being financed under the “Improving animal disease surveillance in support of trade or surveillance for trade-sensitive diseases (STSD) project” that is jointly coordinated and implemented by IGAD and AU-IBAR in the IGAD member states. The specific objectives of the meetings were; to launch the two regional committee to ensure full participation of stakeholders on the implementation of PPR control, to review and improve on the drafted committee TORs and their composition, to create understanding on the existing national and regional activities on PPR/SRD and to coordinate, exchange good practices and lessons on PPR/SRD control programmes in the region.
The welcoming remarks were made by Dr. Samuel Wakhusama, Vet Governance Regional Coordinator, on behalf of the ICPALD Acting Director and Dr. James Wabacha on behalf of the AU-IBAR Director. The opening remarks were made by Dr. Kisa J.Z Ngeiywa, Kenya Director of Veterinary Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. A total of 25 participants drawn from the IGAD Member States, namely; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda as well as from AU-IBAR, AU-PANVAC, FAO-ECTAD, FAO-Kenya, FAO-SFE, FAO-Somalia, IGAD-ICPALD, ILRI and the OIE., The two-day meeting discussed presentations and deliberated on the Terms of Reference (TORs) of the Coordination Committee for the Control of PPR/SRD and Technical Experts Committee (TEC), an overview of the progress made by the STSD project in the IGAD Member States, overview of the Pan African PPR Strategy and Pan African PPR Programme; overview on PPR and other small ruminant diseases (SRDs) interventions in the IGAD; experiences and lessons on the control of PPR in Africa, Asia and other regions; progress made on the development and piloting of PPR thermo-stable vaccine; and the status of PPR control and other major SRDs in the IGAD MS.
The meeting provided a number of recommendations; some of which are the coordination mechanism being established for PPR and SRD should be institutionalized in IGAD to serve as a platform to coordinate all priority disease control programmes in the region. Member States need to build their diagnostic capacities to enable rapid PPR diagnosis and access to newer tools for its control; and AU-PANVAC and ILRI need to consider undertaking research for developing combined vaccines and delivery systems for multi-disease control programmes in small ruminants.
IGAD/ICPALD and AU-IBAR are grateful to the European Union (EU) for having financed this event under STSD funding.