Sunday, Oct 17, 2021

July 05, 2021 (Virtual): An outbreak of unknown camel disease reported from Ethiopia, in the regions of Oromia and Somalia in the months of May and June, 2021. The outbreak in camels is also suspected to have linked to infections in humans, affecting nearly 200 people according to World Health Organization 2021 field report of 12th June, 2021. Symptoms in humans included diarrhea, fever and vomiting associated with the consumption of camel meat. Samples from camels and human cases collected for laboratory investigation at National Animal Health Disease Investigation Center (NAHDIC) but so far, no definitive causative agent identified, though suspect either bacterial or viral infections. A similar outbreak of unknown camel disease occurred in the Republic of Somalia but with no human infections. Some sick cases detected early in Ethiopia and Somalia responded well to common antibiotics such as Penstrep, Tetracycline etc. Kenyan also witnessed a similar outbreak first week of May 2020, that occurred along the crossborder areas with Ethiopia and Somalia; same ecosystem for transhumance and trade. The clinical signs in camels included: Thick, white mucopurulent discharge, lacrimation, difficult/labored breathing, extended neck, enlarged cervical and parotid lymph nodes, recumbence and death in 3-4 days which were similar to those of infected in Ethiopia and Somalia, an indication of might be same causative agent though requires further investigation for definitive diagnosis. ILRI supported diagnosis of samples collected from camels in Kenya, and causative agent diagnosed as Mannheimia Haemolytica.

Due to the related nature of the unknown camel disease along the borders of Somalia –Ethiopia and Kenya; IGAD/ ICPALD convened a regional meeting in collaboration with FAO/SFE and attended by CVOs and technical teams from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, FAO, OIE, AU-IBAR and ILRI. The key objectives of the meeting were to document the status of the outbreak; preliminary findings and deliberate on how to arrive at definitive causative agent of the disease, its relationship to human infection and control. The deliberations attended by 33 participants. The meeting also developed road map detailing immediate and future actions to identify and control the disease.

The main actions agreed in the roadmap are: Regional task force establishment; develop camel disease standard methods and procedures (SMPs); Coordinated diagnosis for confirmation of zoonotic nature; Supply of the kits and reagents; harmonized surveillance, and Information sharing/ awareness and vaccine development.

 

May 31, 2021: LITS is becoming a pre-requisite for exporting countries to implement in order to access export markets since it is an effective means to successfully protect public health, food safety and contain or respond to an outbreak of an infectious animal disease. It is also useful tool in breeding program and curbing cattle rustling. The system requires two basic components: an identification system (for example brands, marks or a device) and a system that tracks an animal, or group of animals, along the value chain to the final destination. It is imperative that the IGAD region strengthens efforts of disease prevention and control and finds ways of enhancing and sustaining livestock-based trade and its benefits.

IGAD/ ICPALD trained national LITs focal personnel and other team members, developed regional guidelines and legal framework that guide in the implementation of LITS in the member States through its subsequent adaption to national laws. Moreover, the technical and policy makers working in the area were supported to visit good practices and lessons from Namibia. A regional coordination mechanism at IGAD level is also established and so far six (6) regional LITs forum were held through the coordination of IGAD/ ICPALD.  The 7th regional virtual LITS and AHC forum was held for one day on May 31, 2021 with the support of the FAO/SFE.

The meeting objectives were to get updates from IGAD member states on the status of LITs implementation, achievements realized, challenges faced and solutions and to exchange good practices and lessons to help avoid duplication of efforts and improve complementarities on LITS and Animal health certification

The meeting participants were chief veterinary officers; national LITs focal persons and private sectors from each member states. The partners such as OIE, FAO and AUIBAR also participated. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Obadiah Njagi, the CVO, Kenya. Dr. David Phiri, FAOSFE coordinator and Dr. SJM Munyua, Director of ICPALD also made informative remarks. The participants after hearing the status and discussing the various issues and challenges; recommended the following   

Recommendations

  1. For harmonization of LITS in IGAD MSs, countries should finalize or initiate development of legal frameworks at national level aligned to IGAD guidelines and model legal framework.
  2. Member states (MS) should articulate for integration of LITS activities in national programs to attract funding from national treasuries and work closely with relevant partners working in the areas
  3. MS and IGAD should lobby and advocate for enactment of or fast tracking of national legal frameworks/ proclamations to legalize implementation of LITS activities and expedite enforcement
  4. MSs should undertake awareness creation among mainstream stakeholders at national levels targeting regulatory authorities and private sector (farmers, pastoralists and traders) on the importance of LITS in livestock breeding, disease management, insurance, trade among others. The MS can multiply and use directly or adapt the existing LITs awareness materials published by IGAD and AUIBAR
  5. MS should support capacity building (training) on LITS at national levels for technical experts as well as end users. They can roll out the training provided by IGAD/AUAIBAR to the national LITs focal and team.
  6. MS should design LITS devices at country levels that adopt ISO coding while ensuring interoperability (communication) with livestock movement at national and regional levels
  7. MS with the support of IGAD and other partners should develop relevant infrastructure- database, laptops, servers, crushes etc that will support implementation of or adoption of LITS at regional and national levels
  8. Member states should create an enabling policy and regulatory frameworks that can incentivize the private sector to invest in LITS through PPP model to become major actors
  9. MS with the support of IGAD and other partners should develop bankable proposals to raise financial resources from development partners and private sectors to facilitate adoption or implementation of LITS activities

 

24-28th May, 2021 (Entebbe, Uganda): Under WTO SPS agreement, countries are required to publish all sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS measures) and notify changes to SPS measures. Therefore, countries are required to identify a single central government authority to be responsible for the notification requirements of the SPS Agreement (the notification authority). They are further required to establish an enquiry point responsible for answering questions from other countries about SPS measures and related issues (the enquiry point) to facilitate trade.

In comparison with other geographical regions and major trading partners in agricultural commodities such as Europe and Asia, Africa’s contribution of global notifications on SPS measures was 3% since the establishment of the WTO until September 2019, while the region continues to enact new legislations and regulations, and develop new standards that impact on agricultural trade. Due to this poor notification performance, IGAD/ICPALD in partnership with AU-IBAR organized a 5 days regional training for the NNA, NEP and the private sector from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda from May 24-28, 2021 in Entebe, Uganda. The training was officially opened by Richard Okot, Commissioner of Trade of the Republic of Uganda and attended by 28 trainees. The training is believed to enhance reporting; transparency and trade.

 Below are the follow up steps and recommendations from the training:

 

  1. Follow up steps for ensuring the formulation and or the activation of the regional;
  • National Notification Authority
  • National Enquiry Points
  • SPS Regional or National Committee
  • Standard Operating Procedure
  1. IGAD member states should register for attendance of the online WTO SPS Committee meetings including as observers.

 

  1. National and regional capacity building trainings for private sector and regulatory authorities on:
  • SPS issues
  • Transparency and NEPs
  • Registration and use of the ePing alert
  1. IGAD and AU-IBAR should organize a South to South learning tour for NEP and NNA IGAD members states to e.g. Kenya and South Africa). The learning to include:
  • Operation of the NEP and NNA
  • Coordination with the other relevant agencies, partners and private sector
  • Surveillance procedures where a ban has been imposed
  1. IGAD adapt from AfCFTA an IGAD notification form and procedure for members;
  2. IGAD should develop the work program for the regional SPS Committee to tackle issues affecting the members i.e. assessment of key issues; regular meetings to provide a forum for discussion on the progress and challenges. This will help build capacity for the participation of members at the continental and WTO level for SPS matters.

 

Acknowledgement: IGAD-ICPALD extends its appreciation to AU-IBAR for funding this activity

 

18thNovember 2020 (virtual meeting): IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) in collaboration with AUIBAR and ARSO organized a regional meeting to assess preparedness of IGAD countries so far, identify key technical issues that require attention of higher policy body in order to benefit optimally the countries from the AfCFTA initiatives.

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