At least 1 078 veterinary health professionals from 13 African countries are among the 4 700 trained by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture and Organisation (FAO) to strengthen the developing countries’ capacity to manage livestock disease outbreaks.
In a statement, the FAO said with funding from the United States Development Agency, veterinary health professionals in 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East have been trained over the past 12 months.
The training covered key competencies including disease surveillance and forecasting, laboratory operations, biosafety and biosecurity, prevention and control, as well as outbreak response strategies.
The African vets were drawn from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Some 75% of new infectious diseases that have emerged in recent decades originated in animals before jumping to us Homo sapiens, a terrestrial mammal. This is why improving adequately discovering and tackling animal disease threats at source represents a strategic high-ground in pre-empting future pandemics,” said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth.