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Editorial Director: Dr A.B.Niang

 

 


2010 Annual report of the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa.

Gaborone - Botswana

2010

INTRODUCTION

The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa (SRR-SA) was set up in 2005, in Gaborone, Botswana. The SRR-SA covers 15 countries of SADC, of which the Secretariat is also based in Gaborone.

The latest Member State, the Seychelles, re-joined SADC in the course of 2008, and joined the OIE in 2010. The year 2010, as was the case in 2008 and 2009, was a very active and busy one, not only in terms of disease outbreaks in the sub-region but also in terms of capacity-building interventions by the OIE SRR-SA (five major capacity-building events organised). The organisation of the Namibia seminar on aquatic animal diseases amidst the pressure of the FIFA Football World Cup in So

uth Africa has been a genuine tour de force, for which our administrative and financial assistant Mpho Mantsho, in particular, is congratulated. Fortunately enough the team was later considerably strengthened with the appointment of a Deputy- Representative, Dr. Neo Mapitse, in August 2010. While OIE and FAO signed a two-way agreement towards the establishment of the Regional Animal Health Centre for Southern Africa in 2009, the signing of a formal tripartite agreement between FAO, OIE and AUIBAR for the Regional Animal Health Centre is still awaited, while at the same time the financial prospects of the FAO partner (ECTAD) look increasingly worrisome.


GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE OF THE REPRESENTATION

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In terms of terrestrial animals, the SADC hosts around 70 million heads of cattle (primarily in the United Republic of Tanzania), 100 million small ruminants and 230 million poultry, the bulk of which is produced in the Republic of South Africa (source : SADC).

sadc_terrestial_animals_table

In terms of aquatic animals, the FAO statistics provide insight into the aquaculture1 production types and
volumes of SADC Member States (source: FAO FIGIS, 2008).

aquatic_animals_table1Aquaculture is understood to mean the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. For statistical purposes, aquatic organisms which are harvested by an individual of corporate body which has owned them throughout their rearing period contribute to aquaculture while aquatic organisms which are exploitable by public as a common property resource, with or without appropriate licences, are the harvest of fisheries.

oie_sadc_delegates
OIE Delegates from the SADC Member States as per December 31st, 2010.

                                   DISEASE SITUATION REPORT

The primary objective of the OIE is to prevent the spread of animal diseases in the world, hence the purpose of establishing the World Animal Health information System (WAHIS). The Sub-Regional Representation strongly emphasises timely and accurate notification obligations of OIE Member Countries and advocates judicious use of available scientific animal health information for decision making for disease prevention and containment.

Non-official information e.g. from mass media on animal disease outbreaks or abnormal epidemiological events is followed up for verification with the national veterinary authorities concerned through a so-called “rumour” file.

oie_official notificationsOfficial notifications and informal reports on OIE listed diseases : new outbreaks recorded in 2010.
Sources : WAHID and OIE SRR-SA.

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (FMD)

Namibia. A FMD outbreak was reported on the 14th of April based on clinical diagnosis on Impalila island in the Zambezi river, a FMD endemic region of Caprivi, i.e. a zone where there are free-roaming wild African buffaloes, long-term reservoirs of SAT FMD virus. The precise serotype of the FMD virus was SAT 1 possibly from contact with buffalo. A buffer zone of 70-80 km radius was established around the island, in which a total of 120,000 cattle were vaccinated using an inactivated trivalent vaccine against serotypes SAT 1, 2 and 3 of foot and mouth disease. Since the outbreak occurred in the infected zone it had no effect on the status of the FMD free zone where vaccination is not practised in Namibia. The event has been resolved since the 6th August.

Zimbabwe. Four (4) outbreaks have been reported in Matabeleland South (onset May 28th) close to the border with Botswana. Animals are suspected to have been in contact with previously infec-ted animals during a previous outbreak that occurred in September 2009 at a feedlot in the area. Other outbreaks have been reported by unofficial sources but in endemic areas of Zimbabwe.

Botswana. An outbreak of SAT-2 FMD was first observed on July 26th, and later confirmed on 3 August in a defined zone in Lesoma, Kasane in Chobe District. This reoccurrence of FMD was outside the OIE recognized “FMD free zone where vaccination is not practiced”; hence it did not affect the disease status of FMD free zones. This is a vaccination zone where scheduled vaccinations are undertaken three times a year using a trivalent vaccine with apparent satisfactory coverage. 349 cattle were vaccinated in response to this outbreak.

South Africa. The four outbreaks of SAT-1 FMD in Mpumalanga that started in September 2009 were closed on May 2010. A total of 764 cases of which 4 were from goats and 3 swine were recorded from a susceptible animal population of 9,793. The disease was in a rural settlement adjacent to the infected zone, Kruger National Park. The source was suspected to be contact with wild species. Vaccination covered 27,000 cattle and 1,309 goats by September 2009.

Another outbreak involving 19 dairy cattle from a closed herd of about 80 was confirmed on the 13th of August at Ba-Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province. As with Namibia and Botswana, all these outbreaks occurred in zones that did not change the FMD free status of the country. Angola. The SAT-2 FMD outbreak that was first reported in June 2009 with a follow up in July 2010 remains unresolved. Vaccination status and other surveillance data were not available though the area was reported difficult to access. A country follow up was made with the diseases notification focal point regarding updates.

The RVF outbreak on the Ile de Mayotte ( France ) which occurred in July 2008 was been resolved but sentinel surveillance is being maintained.

VARROOSIS OF HONEY BEES

Madagascar. The disease (exotic to the island) was reported on the 11th of February in the vicinity of the capital Antananarivo and declared resolved on March 26th, 2010. Varroosis is one of the most destructive disease of honey bees, inflicting damage and higher economic costs than all other known apicultural diseases. Brood and adults bees are impaired. Colonies infested by V. destructor develop a parasitic mite syndrome and ultimately collapse if left untreated.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER (ASF)

African swine fever (ASF) was reported from Tanzania on the 8th of December 2010 on pigs in a free-range system suspected to be introduced by illegal movement of pigs. The outbreak is still continuing.

RIFT VALLEY FEVER (RVF)

South Africa. The RVF outbreaks in cattle and sheep in the Northern Cape Province were initially reported as a re-occurrence although the outbreak occurred very far from the previous (traditional) outbreak areas in the east of the country. The outbreaks were initially limited to areas surrounding the Orange River. The infection in animals has since spread to other provinces being; North-West, Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces giving a total of 140,135 cases and 8,660 deaths from 507 outbreaks. Considerable rainfall created conditions favourable for breeding of the mosquito vectors over much of the country, and preliminary molecular epidemiological findings suggest that the outbreak involves spread of one of 2 genotypes of the virus which have emerged locally over the
past few years.

The RVF outbreak has occurred in areas where Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is well documented and considering the overlapping clinical and clinico-pathological features it is clearly critical to consider this in the differential diagnosis and management of patients, especially regarding infection control issues. CCHF was confirmed in 2 patients.

As from July 2010, the epidemic started winding down possibly due to the effects of the low winter temperatures. As of 10 May, the Government of South Africa has reported 186 confirmed cases of RVF in humans, including 18 deaths, in Free State Province, Eastern Cape Province, Northern Cape Province, Western Cape, and North West Province. Those infected have been people working with livestock, suggesting that mosquito-borne transmission is not a major factor in transmission of infection in this outbreak.

In Namibia, 12 outbreaks were reported close to the border   (Mariental) with the North West Province of South Africa. Total of 69 cases and 35 deaths from a susceptible population of 8,240 animals were noted
from both small holder and commercial sheep flocks. The diagnosis was confirmed shortly from the start date of the event on real time PCR by the Central Veterinary Laboratory. Unofficial reports of human cases have been noted affecting at least three farmers with one from accidental injection with a live RVF vaccine. Exports of mutton from Namibia to South Africa have hardly been affected.

Botswana. On June 28th, Botswana became the 3rd country in Southern Africa to report an outbreak of RVF in animals. It is not entirely surprising that the cases are occurring just across the border (Ramotswa) from the North West Province of South Africa, where there have been cases during the recent outbreak. New cases were not recorded over the remaining part of the winter period. Surveillance and laboratory diagnostics continued and results of follow up samples were still pending. 13,669 cattle, 24,544 goats and 2,603 sheep were vaccinated in response to the outbreak with an inactivated RVF vaccine.

Zimbabwe. During the last Livestock Technical Committee meeting, an outbreak of RVF in Zimbabwe (2009)
was reported to the Members. This event was however not reported to the OIE.

 

WEST NILE FEVER (WNF)

Madagascar. WNF was reported on the 21st of May 2010, more than eight months after what appears to be a sampling exercise. Indeed, it would appear that the discovery was made during a screening exercise by the laboratory of the CRVOI (Centre de recherche et de veille sur les maladies émergentes dans l’Océan Indien), in Sainte Clotilde, on Réunion (French territory). No formal outbreaks (6) were reported as theaffected birds (chickens?) are said to be sub-clinically infected. Likewise, there are no reports of human or equine cases. Previously, West Nile virus infections of lemurs have been reported in Madagascar, an indication that the disease may be endemic. The West Nile Virus has been isolated from human blood, birds (parrots and egrets) and from blood meals of several mosquito species, including Culex and Anopheles spp.
Between 1975 and 1990 the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar showed that this arbovirus was most abundant in Madagascar, where it had an endemic circulation. There has been no further study since that time. In order to evaluate the level of circulation, the seroprevalence of anti-West Nile antibodies in children that are under 15 years of age was measured on two different collections of sera. These collections came from population studies realised respectively in the region of Ambositra in the Highlands in 1996 and in the city of Mahajanga on the north west coast in 1999. The seroprevalences were 2.1% and 10.6% respectively, these results indicate that the circulation of this virus is still significant

AMERICAN FOULBROOD OF HONEY BEES (AFB)
South Africa. American Foulbrood of Honey Bees (AFB) in South Africa is considered endemic as from 30th of April 2010. Its distribution remains unclear but nevertheless the disease has crossed the capensis line which separates African from Cape bee colonies, as the disease has been reported in the North-West Province, north of the capensis line. Zambia and Swaziland have reported (but not to OIE) that for the time being they are free from the disease as a result of surveillance exercises carried out over the last few months.


CONTAGIOUS CAPRINE PLEURO-PNEUMONIA (CCPP)
Mauritius. An outbreak which was confirmed for the first time during the last quarter of 2009 was declared resolved by 15th May 2010.


PESTE PETITS DES RUMINANTS (PPR)
Reports of PPR outbreaks in northern Tanzania bordering Kenya were confirmed by active surveillance at the end of 2008 which indicated presence of PPR antibodies in 44.0 % of 1,500 small ruminant bloods tested. PPR virus was isolated and characterized from tissues and blood samples. This was officially reported to the OIE on the 27th of January 2009. The Tanzania Government, in collaboration with private veterinary services and with the help of FAO managed to conduct mass vaccinations to stop the disease spreading into new areas. After a relatively quite situation in 2009 and the first half of 2010, new outbreaks are currently been investigated south of the central railway line in Morogoro region an indication that PPR is threatening to beintroduced to neighboring counties of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. PPR is an emerging transboundary animal disease in the SADC region with mortality rates as high as 80 %. The disease has a significant impact on households’ food security and the livelihoods of rural inhabitants engaged in sheep and goat production and therefore should be prevented and or controlled at all costs.

ANTHRAX
On November 6th, the Kingdom of Lesotho reported a reoccurrence of anthrax in sheep in a defined zone within the country. The affected flock is communally grazed and had new introductions of sheep in the previous month. Bacteriological examination was used to make a diagnosis.


EPIZOOTIC ULCERATIVE SYNDROME (EUS)
Botswana confirmed the diagnosis and reoccurrence of Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) in wild finfish on the 17th November 2010. The clinical disease was first seen in August 2010 in fresh water river systems of the Okavango Delta.


 

                                  TECHNICAL PROGRESS REPORT

GOOD GOVERNANCE OF VETERINARY SERVICES

The training seminar (information seminar) for newly appointed OIE Delegates (post-2007) was an opportunity to re-iterate the principles of good governance of veterinary services (refer to next section on capacity building), in particular through the sessions on “Rights & obligations of
OIE Member Countries & OIE Delegates” and “The quality of veterinary services”.

The PVS evaluation of the Veterinary Services of Botswana started on March 28th and included the participation of Dr. Bonaventure Mtei, the OIE Sub-Regional Representative for Southern Africa as observer. The team was led by Dr. Eric Fermet-Quinet, an independent veterinary consultant, assisted by Dr Tomoko Ishibashi, the Deputy OIE Regional Representative for Asia and Dr Julia Punderson From USDAAPHIS.

The latest Member of the OIE and Member State of SADC, the Seychelles recently applied for a PVS evaluation, which will be conducted shortly. Only Angola and South Africa remain to apply for a PVS-evaluation.

Meanwhile, the OIE office has also recommended several regional and international experts for further PVS, gapanalysis and PVS of Aquatic Animal Health Services (AAHS). On December 15th, the Republic of Mozambique was the first country in SADC to officially apply for a PVS evaluation of its
Aquatic Animal Health Services (competent authority). In terms of gap-analysis, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia have already undergone this second phase process, while the D.R.C. and Malawi have sent in official applications.

In terms of veterinary legislation review(s), only Madagascar has benefited from a (pilot) mission so far, while the D.R.C.,
Malawi and Zambia have sent in official applications.

The EU funded Veterinary Governance for Africa project, to be implemented by AU-IBAR and by OIE, the latter through a € 3.0 million Contribution Agreement, has been approved by the European Commission on December 22nd. The total cost of the project is € 30 million and the project is expected to commence in the course of 2011. See press release on the Intra ACP 2010 Annual Action Plan on:                                                               http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/multimedia/pdf/ip_20101222_intra_acp.pdf

CAPACITY BUILDING

Twenty-five (25) recently appointed OIE Delegates from African OIE member countries met in Gaborone, Botswana from March 9 - 12th for a regional information seminar to improve their knowledge of the OIE and it’s activities. The seminar was facilitated by experts from within and outside the OIE and was complemented by field visits to the beef and beef products exporting establishment Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), Mokolodi Nature Reserve and the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI). The meeting covered the traditional mandates as well as the new mandates introduced in the 4th Strategic Plan and the newly adopted 5th Strategic Plan, such as animal welfare, legislation, communication, veterinary education etc.
More information : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex49.html

Within the framework of the OIE’s ongoing training of focal points, a joint seminar for wildlife focal points from English speaking African countries and Middle Eastern countries, was organised in Arusha, Tanzania, from the 16th to the 19th of March. This seminar was organised by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa in Gaborone, Botswana, in close collaboration with the OIE Regional Representation for Africa in Bamako, Mali, the OIE Regional Representation for the Middle-East in Beirut, Lebanon, the OIE Headquarters in Paris, France, the OIE Collaborating Centre on Training in Integrated Livestock and Wildlife Health and Management, based at the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Pretoria, South Africa and the OIE Collaborating Centre on Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Monitoring, Epidemiology and Management, based at the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC). In line with the OIE’s overall mandates, this training seminar dealt with providing OIE subject matter Focal Points on wildlife with the necessary information, updates and skills to better assume their responsibilities and obligations towards their national OIE Delegates in their respective countries and thus strengthen the
interaction with the OIE, and particularly to ensure the adequate notification on wildlife diseases to the OIE. The seminar was interactive, in part facilitated by both OIE Collaborating Centres from South Africa and Canada, and integrated small working group sessions on practical examples. During the week, a visit to Tarangire National Park was organised. It was the opportunity to highlight some of the aspects that have been discussed during this training seminar, and could be used in the planning of national surveillance programmes.
More information : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex51.html

In the course of the month of November, the Training Manual on Surveillance on Wildlife Diseases, produced by the OIE Collaborating Centre on wildlife disease surveillance in Canada (Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre) and successfully applied in the various OIE capacity-building exercises in the past two years (including Arusha, March 2010 and Bamako, July 2010) has been translated into French by a translator-veterinarian, Dr. Carole Goulet, contracted by the Sub-Regional Representation, thus contributing to the future publication, in 2011, under OIE auspices, of the said Manual in the three official languages of the OIE; this is expected to greatly benefit future capacity-building efforts in this field of veterinary science.

Eighty (80) specialists and focal points on aquatic animal diseases from 36 African countries, along with representatives from the FAO (Rome), OIE (Paris), EC (Brussels), SARNISSA (Stirling), NVI (Oslo) and AAHRI (Bangkok) met in the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia from June 15th to 19th for a regional training seminar to improve their knowledge of the OIE and it’s activities, in general terms and more specifically as regards aquatic animal diseases, i.e. diseases of amphibians, crustaceans, fish and mollusks. The seminar was funded by the European Commission (DG SANCO) and the Government of Namibia and was complemented by field visits to producers and processors of aquatic products, such as (farmed) fish, shell fish and oysters in Swakopmund and neighbouring Walvisbay. The meeting covered the overall mandates including notification through WAHIS, general trade issues and the Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (represented by Dr. Ricardo Enriquez) and the Aquatic Code and Manual produced annually. External speakers provided inputs on inland and marine aquatic production sectors in the world and in Africa, the challenges of illegal, unregistered and unregulated fisheries, international and regional stakeholders working on aquatic health issues, and import, export and certification of aquatic products. Seven countries (including the host country) were given an opportunity to present the challenges they face in meeting OIE international standards, while case studies were presented by international experts on koi herpes virus, abalone virus mortality, white spot disease in shrimps, epizootic ulcerative syndrome in (fin)fish and fransicella infections in tilapia.
More information : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex59.html

In addition to this capacity-building programme, the OIE headquarters also supported the FAO training workshop on risk analysis and health information system in aquaculture (in collaboration with the World Fish Centre), which took place in Lusaka, Zambia from 28th June – 2nd July, 2010 and was attended by Dr Larry Hammell (Professor, Department of Health Management, and Director, AVC - Centre for Aquatic
Health Sciences, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada) on behalf of the OIE. There was no direct involvement of the OIE SRR office in Gaborone. The reports of the OIE Regional Training Seminars for OIE Delegates (Gaborone) and OIE focal points for wildlife (Arusha) and aquatic animal diseases (Swakopmund) have been finalized and forwarded by e-mail and on a CD-rom to the participants and stakeholders.
They have been printed in 200 copies each and will be forwarded to focal points and relevant stakeholders at the beginning of 2011. The reports are also available online for download:
http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/mandates/en_scientific_information.html
http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/fr/mandates/fr_scientific_information.html (French versions)


The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa facilitated a workshop organised by the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria in Onderstepoort, South Africa, from 19th to 23rd of July 2010. This workshop, the first meeting of Deans of Veterinary Schools and Faculties in southern and eastern Africa, was a spin-off of the seminar organised by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation

for Southern Africa in Arusha, Tanzania in September 2009 and the OIE Global Conference on Evolving Veterinary Education for a Safer World, held in Paris, in October 2009. The purpose of this meeting was to make progress on the recommendations of the two 2009 OIE seminars and conferences, at least as far as this region is concerned. The aim was to translate the recommendations into concrete actions by establishing a network/forum for collaboration and harmonisation of veterinary education within the region to address current and future challenges in the supply and demand for veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals. An initial focus on SADC Member States was later enlarged to include Uganda and Kenya to gauge the interest of the academia in these two countries to enter this process towards harmonisation and modernisation of the veterinary curriculum. Only Kenya attended. The University of Pretoria (UP) has taken the lead to work with the other veterinary schools and faculties, as well as Veterinary Statutory Bodies (VSBs, where they exist) in Eastern and Southern Africa to develop a strategy for action. Unfortunately, while UP managed to get 8 out of the 9 invited Deans around the table (DRC, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe), it failed to invite the representatives of the VSB’s in the region (due to conflicting dates with other VSB meetings) to the last day of the workshop. Only the representative of SAVC in South Africa attended. It is now foreseen that the outcomes of this first Dean’s meeting will be discussed at a separate meeting of registrars or chairpersons of VSB’s later this year, possibly within the agreed budget earmarked under the approved LoA with OIE. The budgetary support from the OIE for this event is EUR 25,000.

Seventeen (17) OIE Focal Points for Aquatic Animal Diseases and 16 OIE Focal Points for Animal Disease Notification took part in a back-to-back training course on the implementation of the OIE World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) from August 31st until September 3rd at the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa in Gaborone, Botswana. The purpose of the training course was on the one hand to familiarize the focal points on aquatic animal diseases (selected amongst the main aquaculture producing countries in Africa) with the basic features of the OIE’s online reporting system as it pertains to aquatic animal diseases, i.e. diseases of finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians. For focal points on animal disease reporting on the other hand, the training course was an opportunity to present new and advanced features of WAHIS, such as WAHIS-Wild, for the reporting of wildlife diseases or infections encountered in wildlife species.
More information : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex68.html

The first pan-african training seminar for OIE focal points for veterinary products was held from November 23rd to 26th , 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The seminar united OIE focal points from 43 African countries, close to thirty speakers and 13 African participants invited by the NGO GALVmed. The opening session was officiated by Dr. Pieter Mulder, Deputy-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The training course was budgeted from the DG SANCO Better Training for Safer Food in Africa programme, with additional support provided by the Government of South Africa and GALVmed for an amount of EUR 250,000.

The 4-day organisation of seminar, coordinated by the French National Veterinary Drugs Agency ANVM (ANSES), an OIE Collaborating Centre, can be summarised as follows:
The first sessions were centered on OIE and its standards, as published in its Codes and Manuals. After a comprehensive presentation of OIE, its
position within the WTO framework and its mandate of development of international standards, roles and duties of the focal points were presented, as well as the activities of several Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories to be concluded with a comprehensive description of the international standards as regards veterinary products.

All major stakeholders working in this field were represented: (i) two normative structures relating to veterinary products at international level: VICH (for the registration of veterinary products) and Codex Alimentarius (in particular for residues and the antibiotic resistance...), (ii) several structures of a regional scope (the European Medicine Agency and PANVAC for the certification of animal vaccines, economic regional communities, such as UEMOA and SADC, as well as the Southern and Eastern African Veterinary Drug Regulatory Affairs Conference (SEAVDRAC).

Thereafter, the floor was given to numerous private entities in order to present their activities, vision and prospects in the field of veterinary products (IFAH International Federation for Animal Health , worldwide scope, the Botswana Vaccine Institute, SAAHA, AfriVet and Onderstepoort Biological Products, all three in South Africa, VetAgro of Tanzania, AfriMed of Tunisia and the Mali Council of Veterinary Surgeons. The NGO GALVmed, the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines , which co-funded the seminar, organised a break-out session over one afternoon, working with a selected number of participants. The discussion focused mainly on opportunities to establish a system of mutual recognition of marketing authorisations delivered for veterinary vaccines, with a particular discussion on the part PANVAC could play in such a system.

Covering the consecutive ‘life stages’ of a drug, a great number of very detailed topics were covered by particularly practical presentations on : the process of marketing authorisations (including minor species registration mechanisms in very small markets), the quality-assurance of marketed veterinary medicinal products, the distribution and use within the legal framework of the veterinary profession, including the role of veterinary paraprofessionals, the sequence of inspections from manufacturing to wholesale and retail, regulation and use.

A specific topic an anti-microbial resistance was also presented. The OIE Reference Laboratory for the control of veterinary medicinal products in Sub-Saharan Africa presented the outcomes of an investigation into the quality of 2 selected drugs in approximately 10 countries demonstrating that in between 40 and 60% of the products tested lack in conformity.

Two field visits shed some light on the practical application of OIE standards : on the one hand, the laboratories of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute close to Pretoria (OIE Reference Laboratory for 7 animal diseases) for rabies diagnosis and residues in foodstuffs. On the other hand the production plant of the pharmaceutical company VIRBAC in Johannesburg.

Participants were thereafter invited to proceed with discussions on several topics in working groups. For a start, they were asked to list veterinary medicinal products that are covered by legislation and regulations in their respective countries, and to identify the various people and institutions implicated in the management of veterinary medicinal products, including their duties and responsibilities in this sector. What followed was an in-depth reflection on priority needs to implement policies with regard to veterinary medicinal products, as well as a reflection on ways to improve the participation of member countries in the development of the OIE standards and the compliance with those international standards. Lastly, the OIE solicited feed-back from the participants on their needs and expectations as regards the OIE.

In terms of communication and access to useful information, a few web-sites were presented through an online demonstration (OIE main website, OIE Africa website, the two OIE Collaborating Centres of EISMV in Dakar and ANSES in Fougères).

This seminar is regarded as the first step in a long process of strengthening of capacities of those who are in charge of applying OIE standards in the field of veterinary products, and will be used as a basis to build a continuous education programme, which should be in place within the next two years. More information : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex78.html

ASSISTANCE IN RELATION TO DISEASE STATUS

Requests for recognition of FMD freedom had been submitted by Lesotho and Swaziland in 2009. FMD has never occurred in Lesotho in modern times and the country is surrounded by the Republic of South Africa which already benefits from FMD free status. Lesotho submitted a dossier for first-time recognition as FMD free country in October 2009.

Swaziland submitted a dossier for recovery of previous FMD free status (suspended in 2002) to the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases (SCAD) in August 2009.

Both countries were indeed declared free of FMD in May 2010 during the 78th OIE World Assembly. In addition, Botswana’s zone 4a was also declared FMD free without vaccination.

fmd_status

INTERVENTIONS ON OIE CONTRIBUTIONS

Three countries in the SADC region have accumulated considerable arrears in their contributions to the OIE. These are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Efforts are underway to convince these countries to alleviate at least part of these arrears to avoid losing their right of voting in forthcoming OIE World Assembly.

The Seychelles joined the OIE on May 5th, 2010. We are pleased to welcome the 176th Member country, thereby matching the number of SADC Member States that the OIE office in Gaborone is covering (15). The OIE Delegate of the Seychelles is Dr. Jimmy Melanie, Principal Veterinary Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources, based in Victoria (Mahé Island).

TRANSPARENCY ON DISEASE NOTIFICATION

The Sub-Regional Representation actively insists on the notification requirements of OIE member countries and will contact OIE delegates when rumours of important new outbreaks or epidemiological events are not followed by official notifications to OIE in a reasonable lapse of time. The issue of notification is also part of any country visit conducted. The following screen-shot combines the reporting status of SADC member countries for 2008, 2009 and 2010 (as recorded on January 12th, 2011).

 

October The OIE Sub-Regional Representation gave financial and logistical support to three deans of veterinary faculties in the sub-region ( Madagascar , Zambia , Zimbabwe ) to attend the OIE Global Conference on "Evolving Veterinary Education for a Safer World", organized in Paris , France , from October 12-14th 2009.

November The OIE Sub-Regional Representation gave financial and logistical support to three deans of veterinary faculties in the sub-region ( Tanzania , Zambia , and Zimbabwe ) to attend a workshop and one-day consultation with the OIE Collaborating Centre for Training in Integrated Livestock and Wildlife Health and Management ( University of Pretoria , South Africa ) from November 8 — 11 th , 2009.

December With approval from the OIE Headquarters, the OIE Sub-Regional Representation commissioned an evaluation of activities undertaken under the SADC-EU Grant Contribution Agreement with OIE (2005 - 2009) in order to assess its impact and identify avenues for a renewal of the Contribution Agreement under 10 th EDF. The mission will be conducted by Dr. Anton Van Engelen between December 7 th and 28 th , 2009 who will visit Paris, ( France ), Gaborone ( Botswana ), Pretoria ( South Africa ) and Dar es Salaam ( Tanzania ) to meeting some of the beneficiaries and stakeholders.

NOTIFICATION

The Sub-Regional Representation actively insists on the notification requirements of OIE member countries and will contact OIE delegates when rumours of important new outbreaks or epidemiological events are not followed by official notifications to OIE in a reasonable lapse of time (e.g. rabies and foot-and-mouth disease in Angola). The issue of notification is also part of any country visit conducted. The following screen-shot combines the reporting status of SADC member countries for 2008 and 2009 (so far).

WAHID © Reporting summary on November 20th, 2010

Countries have 30 days to submit their six-monthly reports (i.e. by January 31st, 2011) and two months for the annual report (i.e. by February 28th, 2011). Despite these generous deadlines, some countries have not yet submitted their six-monthly report for the first 6 months, i.e. Angola, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

In terms of immediate notifications, 9 out of the 15 OIE member countries reported a total of 14 epidemiological events, related to 533 outbreaks in the course of 2010 (recorded on January 12, 2011). Most of these outbreaks (502) are related to Rift Valley Fever outbreaks (in most cases, 489, reported from South Africa), as well as FMD (18). Most FMD outbreaks were typed as SAT-2.

Seven (7) outbreaks are still active at this point in time. The average number of follow-up reports submitted is 2 to 3 (2.6) with a maximum of 17 (South Africa). All events reported in 2009 are now closed and/ or resolved (AFB has been declared endemic).

The OIE Africa website has been overhauled by the Programme Officer in order to simplify the management of the website and at the same time provide a more homogenous lay-out to surfers using different browsers and screen-resolutions, by using a fixed width of 1,000 pixels : www.rr-africa.oie.int

Events reported to the OIE from the SADC region are also posted on the OIE Regional Representation for Africa website.

The Programme Officer participated in the SADC Sub-Committee meeting on Epidemiology and Informatics which took place at the Maharaja Conference Centre in Gaborone from March 2nd to 4th. The Programme Officer presented a topic on 2 recently reported bee diseases and how they affect honey, fruit and vegetable production in Southern Africa. The meeting resolved to recommend the use of WAHIS immediate notifications for SADC member states, in the absence of a regional immediate notification system (LIMS only caters for scheduled reporting). In addition it was noted that only 5 SADC member states are actually using the LIMS software solution for diseases reporting to SADC. The main technical topic of the meeting was rabies.

The Programme Officer also participated in the SADC Joint Laboratory & Diagnostics Sub-Committee (LDSC) with the SADC Epidemiology & Informatics Sub-Committee (EISC) on the 27th and 28th of July 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. These Sub-Committees (two of the four SC of the LTC) consist of designated representatives of national veterinary diagnostics laboratories and designated representatives of national epidemiological units from the 15 SADC Member States (less Madagascar, suspended), as well as the OIE reference laboratories (OVI Onderstepoort, Pretoria and BVI Broadhurst, Gaborone) and technical agencies such as OIE and FAO, but also AU-IBAR, AU-CTTBD, SACIDS, etc.

The P.O. made a presentation on the OIE’s contribution to the strengthening of disease surveillance in southern Africa in which he reported on the analysis of PVS reports (under the IRCM programme of AU-IBAR) from countries in Southern Africa, zeroing in on the scores obtained for laboratory diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance. Important resolutions taken during the last OIE General Session, likely to be of importance to African countries and ended by making a short presentation on the Emerging Pandemic Threats programme and specifically the IDENTIFY sub-project and what it could mean for SADC member states within the Congo basin region and outside.
Clarification has been brought to the ambiguous declaration of FMD in Zimbabwe. According to the immediate notification received in early June 2010, the country mentioned the date of last occurrence to be the 17th September 2009, while other reports stated that no outbreaks had been reported since 2008. The immediate notification was eventually posted on the 11th of June. Another clarification was sought from the officials regarding the outbreaks of FMD not reported to the OIE. The official position was that they occurred in endemic reas and therefore did not warrant immediate notification but routine reporting through other WAHIS based reports.

In early October, the office came across a report produced by Dr. Dermot Cassidy of AECOM, produced on behalf of the USAID Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub, dealing with the potential for regional trade of livestock and livestock products in the SADC region. This document was to be submitted to the STDF Secretariat of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) shortly afterwards. In table 13 on page 25, the author concludes that Tanzania is the only country in the SADC region which has no control measures in place against FMD (with the exception of Mauritius which has a negligible cattle population). This conclusion is based on the information posted on the WAHID website and illustrates how important it is to produce comprehensive annual reports to the OIE. We have no doubt that Tanzania does have control measures against FMD in place, but information provided to the OIE is incomplete and may thus lead to potentially damaging trade effects and/or missed opportunities. The Tanzanian OIE Delegate was contacted on the 8th of November 2010 and the problem was addressed shortly after with the cooperation of the OIE national focal point for disease notification and the OIE Animal health Information Department.

The Delegate of Tanzania was also requested to establish whether the outbreak of FMD reported by Zambia at its border with Tanzania affected Tanzania in any way. Zimbabwe was also requested to consider notifying the outbreak of FMD that was reported by unofficial sources. Zimbabwe`s position was that the outbreak area was considered endemic, therefore did not require notification. Angola was also requested to update their FMD notification with a follow up which they responded positively.

Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia were requested to update their EUS status on the WAHIS/WAHID system. Botswana responded by submitting an immediate notification.

Brochures on PPR, bee diseases and infectious salmon anemia were (re)produced in 1,000 copies (500 French, 500 English) and distributed to various stakeholders during OIE and SADC meetings and seminars. They were also shared with the OIE offices in Bamako, Nairobi and Tunis.

2,000 brochures on rabies were (re)produced in two languages (French and English) and were distributed to various stakeholders in the last week of August. They were also shared with the OIE offices in Bamako, Nairobi and Tunis. All these brochures are based on a set of brochures which are available online on the OIE main website.

Likewise, 4 stand-up banners on the Vet2011 event were (re)produced in two languages (French and English) and were shared with the OIE offices in Bamako, Nairobi and Tunis.

TWINNING AND REFERENCE LABORATORIES

The region still boasts to have the highest number of OIE Reference Laboratories in Africa. Overall, nine (9) diagnostic facilities for seven (8) diseases are recognized in two (2) laboratories :

The designation of Dr Alison Lubisi as designated expert for LSD, RVF, BT, Sheep and goat pox and AHS, after the retirement of Dr. G.H. “Truuske” Gerdes in March 2009, is now confirmed.

Four OIE twinning agreements with southern African laboratories are now operational: two with the Botswana NVL (avian influenza and Newcastle disease; and Trichinella spp) and one with the South Africa ARC-OVI (avian influenza and Newcastle disease).

The twinning agreement of BNVL with IZS (Teramo, Italy) on CBPP came to a close in December 2009 and the closing ceremony was organised on September 7th, 2010 in the presence of all stakeholders. The Botswana National Veterinary Laboratory is now expected to apply to the OIE for recognition as an OIE Reference Laboratory for CBPP.

Another twinning agreement proposal was officially submitted on August 30, 2010. It proposes twinning on the diagnosis of EUS between the OIE Reference Laboratory for EUS at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand and the Microbiology Department at the University of Zambia, as recommended during the Maputo meeting (June 2008) on aquatic animal diseases and international standards.

A special case is the south-south twinning agreement between ARC-OVI in South Africa and NVRI in Plateau State, Nigeria, whereby OVI is the parent laboratory on the diagnosis of rabies (OIE Reference Laboratory).
As far as Collaborating Centers are concerned, there are now two centers recognized by the OIE, based at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (Pretoria) and at the University of Pretoria in South Africa:

On February 18th, the Programme Officer attended the annual planning meeting of the OIE Collaborating Centre on Training in Integrated Livestock and Wildlife Health and Management, based at the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases of the Faculty of Veterinary Science in Pretoria. The same centre was also largely involved (Letter of Agreement) in the technical courses offered to participants at the OIE regional training seminar for Focal Points for Wildlife from English speaking African countries and Middle Eastern countries, organised in Arusha, Tanzania, from 16th to 19th March 2010.

The Meat Inspection Training Centre (MITC) in Lobatse, Botswana, was in the process of applying for recognition as an OIE Collaborating Centre for veterinary public health. The process has been put on hold until the Centre is integrated into the University of Botswana (UB).

Contacts with the Department of ichthyology and fisheries science of Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa were established during the Maputo seminar on aquatic animal health (June 2008), where Dr. Qurban Rouhani presented the training programme that the University had developed to train national and provincial official veterinarians on aquatic animal diseases. At the time, the participants of the seminar recommended that this approach and expertise be made available to other countries of the region.. Contacts were renewed two years later, during the Swakopmund seminar (June 2010) and this time an invitation was extended to OIE to come and visit the University and discuss the options regarding official recognition as a OIE Collaborating Centre. Meanwhile, and largely thanks to the two OIE seminars, Rhodes University has managed to establish fruitful inter-actions with other major stakeholders in (southern) Africa, such as. the University of Zambia, Makerere University in Uganda and Amanzi Biosecurity in South Africa.

On August 17th, Dr P. Bastiaensen . met with all major stakeholders in Grahamstown to inform them of the OIE’s programme in Africa and the possibility that the University be recognized as an OIE Collaborating Centre in the foreseeable future. Given the level of expertise of the Department, it is unlikely that twinning is an option, as none of the currently recognized OIE Collaborating Centres in the world could offer more expertise, or more appropriate expertise than the Department already has. The suggestion therefore is for the Department to apply directly for OIE Collaborating Centre status, in order to be able to enter (as a parent centre) into twinning agreements with other centres in Africa.

The proposal is that the Department would team up with two other institutions : the Department (Ministry) of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Pretoria (UP), thereby establishing the necessary links with government and the training of veterinarians. The proposed consortium would apply for recognition of its expertise on the “training of veterinarians on aquatic animal diseases in Sub-saharan Africa”, the rationale for the latter being that north Africa is probably better serviced by the expertise available in Egypt (on aquaculture, at least).

Experts are expected to be sourced from South Africa and from the region (in particular Namibia, Uganda and Zambia). This will enable the Department to come up with a convincing list of CVs and publications to support their application to the OIE. It was suggested that the Department follow the same application pathway that was followed by the new OIE Collaborating Centre on the training of veterinarians on integrated wildlife – livestock health and management at Onderstepoort, i.e. seeking the endorsement of the OIE Delegate for South Africa, submitting a proposal to the OIE as soon as possible and in any case before the end of the year, seeking the endorsement of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa at its 19th Conference in Kigali, Rwanda in January 2011 and possible recognition by the General Assembly of OIE Delegates at the 79th General Session in May 2011.

The SRR/SA was represented in a SADC FANR Food Safety 3rd Regional Stakeholder Assembly on SPS Measures from the 7th to the 10th of September by the Sub Regional Representative and his Deputy. The two areas of interest were the discussions on the draft guidelines on regulations of food safety and registration of veterinary drugs. These draft guidelines once adopted by the Member States will provide a harmonised SADC regional framework to adapt them to national policy and legislation. The meeting recommended that the draft guidelines for registration of veterinary drugs be revised to follow a format recommended by the animal health expert working group based on the Ethiopian model.

The registration of veterinary drugs guidelines run the risk of prescribing for measures or protocols that are likely not supported by structures within the region, such as evaluating the efficacy of the veterinary medicines. The draft guidelines on the regulation of food safety followed closely the Codex guidelines and the technical committee accepted these draft guidelines with some amendments. Of particular interest to OIE is that the SADC region’s approach to develop regional cooperation mechanism for harmonisation of regulatory framework falls within the OIE recommendations and implementation of OIE standards. Reference to the VICH technical requirements will be of interest.

USAID launched a multi-component programme “the Emerging Pandemic Threats Programme (EPT)” intended to address several aspects related to human health threats from emerging potentially pandemic pathogens. It is made up of six individual, but closely interconnected projects: PREDICT, PREPARE, PREVENT, RESPOND, IDENTIFY, and DELIVER. The IDENTIFY project, assigned to a joint effort by FAO, OIE and WHO, with a specific mandate “to strengthen diagnostic capacities across “hot spots” through the development and strengthening of laboratory networks spanning animal and human sectors”.

Dr P. Bastiaensen attended a joint WHO-AFRO – USAID EPT programme meeting in Brazzaville (Congo), on the 16th and 17th of February. Its objectives were to : introduce the USAID EPT Programme, to identify the potential role of the WHO role in the EPT Programme, to strategize on the roll-out of the EPT Programme in the Africa region and to contextualize the EPT Programme within WHO existing emerging threats framework(s). The meeting was attended by representatives from USAID, WHO, WHO-AFRO, Wildlife Conservation Society (PREDICT), Development Associates Inc. (RESPOND), International Medical Corps (PREPARE) and the Centres for Disease prevention and Control (CDC). The OIE attended as observers since there was no formal invitation.

Dr P. Bastiaensen also attended the launch of the EPT programme in Kinshasa (Dem. Rep. Congo), on the 30th of April 2010. While this event was presented as the official launch of the programme in (central) Africa, only participants from the donor agency (USAID), the World Bank, the lead agencies for the various project components mentioned above and representatives of the Democratic Republic of Congo had apparently been invited. The OIE had the opportunity to present its ongoing activities. The presentation on IDENTIFY was presented on behalf of the three organisations by Dr. Ali Yahaya from WHO-AFRO. This presentation was accompanied by a handout that had been drafted and endorsed by the three organizations. Dr P. Bastiaensen presented the OIE’s regional activities in Africa. More information: http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/en_index_annex55.html

Drs P. Bastiaensen, Kate Glynn and Ms. Jennifer Lasley from OIE Headquarters, as well as Dr Walter Masiga from the Nairobi office, also attended the June 8th to 10th joint FAO/OIE/WHO meeting concerning the USAID IDENTIFY project for the Congo Region. This meeting was hosted by WHO AFRO in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) to discuss first year regional project planning and implementation of activities in the IDENTIFY work plan, to create links between the regional focal points, and to develop a road map for strengthening integrated networks of veterinary and human health laboratories within and between countries of the greater Congo Basin.

Several areas of challenges and opportunities were highlighted that will need to be consistently taken into account during the implementation of this project. All partners at headquarter and regional levels expressed strong commitment to the objectives of the project and the tripartite (inter-sectoral) collaboration. While IDENTIFY is a multi-regional, headquarters-led project, there is a different organizational hierarchy across the three organizations between their regional offices that results in differing abilities of headquarters to direct regional activities.

The main objective of the meeting, to achieve a common vision of the IDENTIFY project between headquarters and regional counterparts, was achieved, and the need to develop and strengthen inter-sectoral partnerships at all levels was identified as a clear goal of these activities. It was also recognized that this type of sustainable collaboration would take time to develop over the 5-year project.

As limited collaboration has taken place across the animal and human health organizations in the region, extra time and effort is needed to ensure and maintain a common vision of the project, including the fact that this is one component of a global project and it is led under the common and equal direction of the three organizations. The three organisations held a joint stakeholders` meeting from November 2nd to 4th in Entebbe, Uganda with the specific objective to obtain country-level buy-in and ownership for the IDENTIFY project and activities in the Congo River Basin region.

This meeting was well attended and the OIE invited OIE Delegates from 14 countries being: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Other invited participants were from reference laboratories situated outside of the Congo Basin region from animal health laboratories and the regional economic communities.

The objectives of the meeting were achieved and the reference laboratories were willing and ready to assist the potential candidate twinning laboratories in the Congo Basin for specified diseases and pathogens. The activities leading to initiating twinning arrangements will be undertaken in 2011.

ISSUES OF GROWING IMPORTANCE IN THE REGION

The main OIE listed diseases affecting SADC Member States are (in alphabetical order) African horse sickness (equids), African swine fever (suids), contagious bovine pleura-pneumonia (cattle), epizootic ulcerative syndrome (fish), foot-and-mouth disease (cattle mostly), Newcastle disease (poultry), rabies (dogs), and Rift valley fever (small ruminants mostly). Several of these diseases have considerable public health consequences (Rabies and, Rift valley fever), while others affect in particular beef exporting countries (foot and mouth disease and to a lesser extent contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia). In addition, diseases caused by vectors, in particular tick borne diseases are of great economic and food security concern. Beyond purely disease-related issues, which characterize the livestock sector in Southern Africa, several cross-cutting issues render this part of Africa exceptional, in particular:

a) Wildlife and conservation: the region is home to the continent’s major conservation areas and game parks going through a profound restructuring as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCA’s), challenging existing or potential domestic animal disease status within and across countries. The presence of wildlife, susceptible to or acting as a reservoir for major diseases of domesticated animals is closely linked to these challenges, for instance foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever. Pressure is building to obtain preferential trade status for countries harbouring SAT-type infected wildlife, mainly African buffalo, claiming it is impossible to eradicate the virus from the ecosystem without eradicating the wildlife with it.

b) Compliance to import requirements of the EU and commodity-based trade: several countries in southern Africa have managed to meet OIE requirements and therefore enable to export beef and derived products to western markets (US, Europe) and Asia. At the same time, the region is increasingly challenging OIE standards that pertain to the inherent safety of processed meats and derived products, irrespective of the disease status of country or zone. The so-called commodity-based trade approach seeks to extend principles of HACCP and Codex Alimentarius to guarantee safe and better trade. Two major publications have re-ignited the debate in 2010 : Qualitative assessment of the commodity risk factor for spread of foot-and-mouth disease associated with international trade in deboned beef (D J Paton, M Sinclair, R Rodríguez) and Foot-and-mouth disease and market access: challenges for the beef industry in southern Africa (I. Scoones, A. Bishi, N. Mapitse, R. Moerane, Mary-Louise Penrith, R. Sibanda, G. Thomson, W. Wolmer). http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/en/library/en_downloads.html

c) As elsewhere in Africa, southern Africa is increasingly swamped with veterinary drugs and biologicals from non-traditional suppliers and countries, which represents a challenge in terms of registration of these products. No region-wide registration process currently exists and capacity to enhance a mere documental approach to registration by actual laboratory testing and residue control is lacking in most countries, even in South Africa. As a result, a regional training seminar was organized by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2010. The seminar, funded by DG-SANCO and GALVmed united 37 African countries (focal points for veterinary products) and the major players and stakeholders at regional and international level.

d) Aquatic animal biosecurity or the prevention and containment of aquatic diseases, is a fairly new concern in the region, but is gaining momentum as the aquaculture and riverine farming industry is taking off. The recent introduction of Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome in the Chobe-Zambezi river basin (in 2006) has been a wake-up call for veterinary and other competent authorities (fisheries and water sector) alike and has triggered initiatives, both in terms of capacity building for effective policy and legislation frameworks to address the problem.

This year’s OIE regional training seminar on aquatic animal diseases for OIE focal points, organized in Swakopmund, Namibia (refer to page 6) revived the interest in the subject. In parallel, the OIE SRR SA has been associated with a proposal for funding through the STDF facility of the WTO, of a project, focusing on the public awareness aspects of EUS in the Zambezi river system (STDF/PG/320 - Development and Dissemination of Training Materials for Enhancing Biosecurity in Aquaculture Operations to meet SPS standards in Low Income Economies in the Zambezi River Basin). Initiator of the project proposal was Iowa State University in the US, with support of the NVI in Oslo, Norway, FAO-FI in Rome and possibly OIE, subject to a thorough revision of the project contents later this year. Indeed, the proposal is to be re-submitted in 2011.

e) Animal Welfare is increasingly gaining momentum globally and this is one area the OIE Sub regional Representation for Southern Africa would like to dwell on in the coming years as indicated in the 5th OIE strategic Plan 2011 – 2015. We are convinced that strategic planning designed to lead towards the implementation of the OIE animal welfare standards across the continent can only be effective if based on thorough understanding of the existing situation - and in a continent the size of Africa, there will be vastly differing situations amongst and within the sub-regions and even countries.

What is needed is to bring about sustainable change within the existing socio-economic and cultural contexts without forcing change, but enabling and facilitating the change. Brining about social change on animal wellbeing in Africa is a complex process that will need to harness positive energies from relevant stakeholders to make differences in entrenched ‘status quo’.

Development of policies/strategies, regulations and programmes at national and sub national levels can help to tap such energy and channel it into constructive activities. OIE Sub Regional Representation for Southern Africa will seeking approval and support from higher OIE authorities to engage relevant stakeholders and donors including the OIE Delegates and their animal welfare focal points to develop a regionally coordinated animal welfare Action for OIE Member Countries in Southern Africa.

Major results expected from this Action will include a prioritized SADC Plan of Action developed to enhance animal welfare whereby animal welfare structures/systems, policies/strategies, legislations will be developed; Capacity-building enhanced and animal welfare information effectively communicated. This Action will enable SADC Member States to advocate for dedicated animal welfare budgets required to realize sustainable changes in animal wellbeing as stipulated in the OIE standards.

MEETINGS & CONFERENCES

Throughout the year, the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa maintained close ties with the SADC Secretariat and was therefore involved in all the regional actions and initiatives related with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate. OIE SRR participated actively in various coordination platforms set up by SADC, and donors of livestock projects like the EU and AfDB, together with the 2 partner organisations – FAO and AU-IBAR.

The OIE SRR takes advantage of regional conferences and seminars organised by partner agencies to promote the OIE and its missions depending on the subject of discussion.

The table below provides an overview of the main conferences, seminars, workshops and other meetings in which the Sub-Regional Representation participated in 2010. Official back-to-office-reports (BTOR) from these missions, meetings and conferences are available on request.



                                  ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

The SRR-SA began its activities in January 2006, with the appointment of a Sub-Regional Representative and a Secretary. In 2007, a Deputy Sub-Regional Representative was recruited, but subsequently resigned for personal reasons. A Programme Officer was seconded to the OIE by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (France Cooperation) in April 2007. The team was further strengthened as from June 2009 with the recruitment of a full-time Administrative and Financial Assistant, and in August 2010, with a new Deputy-Representative, bringing the number of permanent staff members to 5.

The Programme Officer ended his assignment with the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (France Cooperation) in June 2010, but pursues his activities for the OIE as per July 2010 with French Development Agency (AFD) funding.

In terms of office environment, several important improvements have been implemented : new updated server Windows Server 2008 with additional back-up server (entirely funded by OIE SRR), installation of Attix-5 professional back-up system for 15 client computers (entirely funded by FAO ECTAD), awarding a service rendering contract to Demographix Communications for the maintenance of the OIE Africa website as per September 1st and an overhaul of the internet-access system, following an internal audit of NAKO Solutions, the IT maintenance service provider, including an additional wireless access modem (Orange Livebox at 512 K) and a load balancer which directs internet traffic to either of the two ADSL connections having the most bandwidth available (OIE and FAO each have one ADSL connection). In addition, a first aid cabinet is now also available.

Service provider contracts are ongoing, partially or entirely funded by the OIE, for (a) office cleaning services, (b) IT support services (c) VOIP-based telephone services and (d) website maintenance services.
In the course of September, the FAO country office, which shares the premises with the OIE and the members of the Regional Animal Health Centre, announced that, based on a UNDP security assessment, it would have CCTV cameras installed inside the building. While this was agreeable to the other organisations, it turned out that the installation also included replacing the existing access control system by another one, turning the existing access system, installed less than a year ago at the OIE’s expense, obsolete. The OIE Representative filed a complaint about this lack of coordination to the FAO Sub-Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe and summoned the Assistant FAO-Country Representative to explain the rationale behind this unilateral decision, which affects all staff. The problem remains unresolved to date.

Regarding the closure of the 9th EDF-funded SADC – EU Grant Contribution Agreement with OIE, which ended on December 31st, 2010, the office submitted a work plan n° 3 technical and administrative report to the SADC Executive Secretary in the course of the month of February 2010. The final report was submitted on June 28th, 2010. The disbursement by the SADC regional authorising officer of the remaining balance of EUR 40,620.68 was made on November 29th, 2010.
The primary output of the accompanying independent evaluation of the above-mentioned EDF project, conducted in November and December 2009 by Ir. Anton Van Engelen, was a report intended for the Director-General of the OIE, the SADC Executive Secretary and the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Botswana, assessing the degree to which the expected results and performance indicators listed in the Agreement had been attained, and indicating strengths and weaknesses of its implementation by the OIE and opportunities for future engagements. The secondary output of the evaluation was a set of documents, again intended for the Director-General of the OIE, the SADC Executive Secretary and the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Botswana, assessing the possible way forward, i.e. the broad outlines of a renewed Contribution Agreement, based on a tripartite agreement between the OIE, SADC and the EC, within the framework of the 10th EDF programme (Regional Indicative Programme for Southern Africa, entrusted to the Regional Authorising Officer of the EDF for SADC, the Executive Secretary).

To this effect two project proposals for funding under the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for the SADC region were developed and were approved by the OIE Director-General in February 2010. These proposals were submitted to SADC and the European Commission during the month of March 2010. Deatails of these documents can be viewed on the following link:
http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/docspdf/en/2009/EDF/Final_Evaluation_Gaborone.pdf

The institutional collaboration with the SADC Secretariat has since deteriorated. Despite all promises and reassurances, the Secretariat has failed to submit either of the two project identification fiches to the EC Delegation before the end of September, the deadline for the round of project approvals by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Hence, another year has been lost and start up of the project(s), if any, cannot be envisaged before 2013.

The long awaited frame work document on livestock development, which arguably was a pre-requisite to any approval or endorsement of project proposals to be funded under the 10th EDF, was eventually released and commented on by the OIE and its RAHC partners. However it does not seem to have made any positive impact on the decision making process, especially since this document has not been endorsed by any of the policy making bodies, such as LTC or higher authorities.

STAFF

In terms of staff, Ms Nomsa Thekiso was on maternity leave from August 15th to November 7th, 2010, followed by 4 weeks of ordinary leave. During Mrs. Thekiso’s absence, Miss Lorato Chazeri was employed as a temporary Secretary from 9th August until 30th September 2010; followed by the subsequent recruitment of Miss Judy Patse to also temporarily fill the gap as a Secretary until December 23rd, 2010, after Ms. Chazeri found permanent employment with another company.

 

Position (nationality)

Name

Starting date


Representative

( Tanzania )

Bonaventure J. Mtei

01.01.2006


  mapitse

Deputy Representative (Botswana)

Neo J. Mapitse

01.08.2010


Programme Officer

( Belgium )

Patrick X. Bastiaensen

22.04.2007


Administrative and Financial Assistant

( Botswana )

Mpho G. Mantsho

01.06.2009


Secretary

( Botswana )

Nomsa Thekiso

01.02.2006


A milestone in the institutional collaboration with the Botswana Department of Veterinary Services was the joint organization of World Rabies Day on September 28th. For the first time, World Rabies Day was celebrated in Botswana. This worldwide commemoration, takes place every year on September 28th is an initiative of the global Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC) and is officially endorsed by the OIE. This year’s event was co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, the Gaborone City Council, the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, as well as the OIE, the FAO and AU-IBAR, represented in Gaborone as the Regional Animal Health Centre for Southern Africa. Around 100 participants took part in a march from the Ministry of Agriculture to the grounds of the Gaborone Secondary School where throughout the day, speeches were held, information provided to the public and pets vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is present in domestic animals and wildlife in Botswana, despite considerable efforts annually to vaccinate dogs and cats. As pointed out by the FAO ECTAD Representative, the disease still kills around 55,000 people worldwide every year, of which almost half (24,000) in Africa. All of these victims are infected by rabid animals.

 

The OIE Africa website has been overhauled by the Programme Officer in order to simplify the management of the website and at the same time provide a more homogenous lay-out to surfers using different browsers and screen-resolutions, by using a fixed width of 1,000 pixels : www.rr-africa.oie.int/ Since September 2010, the office also benefits from the support of a website-maintenance company, DEMOGRAPHIX COMMUNICATIONS Botswana, with which a service providing contract was signed. The company is at the service of all four Africa offices, as well as the OIE headquarters. One of the main tasks of DEMOGRAPHIX COMMUNICATIONS so far has been to develop a sub-site dedicated to the activities conducted under the “Better training for safer food” programme of the European Union, in line with its visibility requirements : http://www.rr-africa.oie.int/BTSF/en_index_btsf.html

Screen-capture of the OIE Africa website (English mirror) at URL : www.rr-africa.oie.int

< Botswana agricultural magazine “Agrinews” reports on the OIE Regional information seminar for newly appointed OIE Delegates
in Africa (March 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the reports on OIE Sub-Regional Representation activities in the OIE Bulletins in 2010.

OFFICIAL VISITS, COURTESY VISITS

AGREEMENTS & HOSTING

CONSULTANCIES & LETTERS OF AGREEMENT

 

 

GF-TADs AND THE REGIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH CENTER

The official agreement between the parties to the Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC) for Southern Africa (SA) is signed, at least as far as FAO and OIE are concerned, since February 2009. As far as Botswana is concerned, the Agreement has been endorsed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Botswana since May 2009. Unfortunately little progress has been made since, neither on the recognition of the Regional Animal Health Centre as a “subsidiarity”- body to the SADC Secretariat, nor on the signing of an Agreement for the Regional Animal Health Centre, which would include AU-IBAR. A consultancy (paid for by the OIE) regarding the recognition of the RAHC-SA by the SADC Secretariat, had been completed in December 2009. The assignment was conducted by a legal advisor, Dr. Stephen Kokerai from KOSATA Entreprises Ltd., whose task it was to produce a draft application to the SADC Council of Ministers and a draft MoU with the SADC-Secretariat. After due consideration and negative feedback from the FAO and OIE head offices’ legal counsels, as well as from the SADC Secretariat (all referring to the lack of legal personality and informal status of the RAHC mechanism), the process was abandoned altogether in April 2010.

The project called Integrated Regional Coordination Mechanisms (for Regional Economic Communities) or IRCM seeks to increase the intra and inter-regional cooperation within and between the (AU-recognised) RECs in Africa, i.e. ECOWAS, CEEAC, IGAD, EAC, SADC and COMESA. The project would seem to direct AU-IBAR’s modus operandi towards a presence within the RECs without however excluding a pursuit of the activities within the RAHC structures as well.

On FAO ECTAD side, the financial position of FAO ECTAD within the RAHC has become difficult, despite past successes in terms of fund-raising from FAO partners. While some funding is still available, it is not earmarked for the payment of personnel. The unexpected closure of the SADC FMD Project (contribution agreement with FAO) and the delays accumulated by the SADC TADs Project in terms of reimbursements to the FAO (contribution agreement with the FAO), has left the Regional FAO ECTAD Unit in a precarious financial position, leading several staff to leave the Unit in the past months and all three outstanding positions to end on March 31st, 2011, i.e. regional manager, programme officer and administrative and financial assistant.

The staff members of the RAHC for Southern Africa are listed on the following table. Nationalities include : Belgium, Botswana, Gambia, Germany, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.

List of OIE, FAO and IBAR staff who were present at the RAHC throughout or for part of 2010

   

REGIONAL COMMISSION ACTIVITIES

Both Dr Bonaventure Mtei and Dr Patrick Bastiaensen attended the meeting of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa in Paris, on May 24, 2010.

On several occasions, the (then) President of the Regional Commission, Dr. Olaho-Mukani was invited to attend training seminars to (re)present the Regional Commission. As an example, he attended the information seminar for newly appointed OIE Delegates in March 2010 in Gaborone.
A proposal to develop an OIE Africa strategic plan (2010 – 2015), based on the overall 5th OIE strategic plan, but customised to include e.g. African Union and in particular NEPAD and CAADP thrusts, did not come to fruition. It would have been an opportunity to tie the links between the Regional Representation and the Regional Commission.

In May 2010, part of the Africa bureau was renewed due to the retirement or promotion of members of the bureau. The bureau of the OIE Regional Commission for Africa is henceforth presided by Dr. Berhe Gebreegziabher (Ethiopia) and two Vice-presidents Dr Mohammed Abdel Razig Abdel Aziz (Sudan) and Dr Mahamadou Saley (Niger) and Dr. Marosi Molomo (Lesotho) remains Secretary-general. The mandate of this Commission expires in May 2012.

Despite these efforts and changes to the Bureau, the interactions with the Regional Commission are deemed unsatisfactory.

 

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

The funding of the Sub-Regional Representation for 2010 was sourced from :
a) the EC BTSF funding provided through DG SANCO to OIE (Paris)
b) the OIE funding provided through the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund

The Sub-Regional Representation’s 2010 annual work plan and budget stood at EUR 641,400.00, most of which was funded through the above-mentioned BTSF programme :

The label ‘OIE’ refers to the contributions made by the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, a trust fund, specifically established to support the OIE’s activities towards compliance of developing and in-transition countries with international standards, as advocated by the Organisation.

The label ‘SANCO’ refers to a project, directly funded by DG-SANCO (Directorate General of the European Commission for Health and Consumers) under the ‘Better Training for Safer Food’ programme, implemented in African countries by the OIE head office, with the participation of the Regional and Sub-Regional Representations.

Extra-budgetary funding was provided by the French Cooperation through the secondment of a programme officer and a EUR 5,000 operational budget (until June 30th). The EUR 5,000 were entirely used.
Extra-budgetary funds were also made available on an ad-hoc basis, through the IDENTIFY project, which year 2 implementation plan started on September 1st, 2010. These expenditures account for the 70% overspending in comparison with the OIE budget, approved in May 2010 (see table below).

 

 

CONCLUSIONS AND 2011 OUTLOOK

The year 2010 has again been a milestone in the development OF THE OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Southern Africa. Despite the end of the Grant Contribution Agreement with SADC and the EC in December 2009, this year 2010 has been exceptional in terms of capacity-building with more veterinary staff trained than ever before and a considerable increase in disbursements, exceeding the estimated budget of EUR 641,000 by the end of the year 2010.

This is largely thanks to the funding provided by the EC’s Directorate-General SANCO through the Better Training for Safer Food programme for Africa, through which most of the capacity-building activities were conducted. While not entirely operational, the new USAID-funded project called IDENTIFY, part of the overall Emerging Pandemic Threats programme for the Congo Basin, is now well on track thanks to the rapid recruitment of the Deputy Sub-Regional Representative who joined the office in August 2010.

While the Representation has now reached a degree of consolidation which seems irreversible, various challenges still lie ahead, one of which is the relationship with the SADC Secretariat, which seems reluctant to enter into a new Grant Contribution Agreement with the OIE under 10th EDF (EC) funding, despite the fact that few other options are available if the Secretariat wants to commit funds by the end of the 10th EDF in 2013.

Equally worrisome are the uncertainties regarding the partner organisations in the Regional Animal Health Centre for Southern Africa (RAHC-SA), i.e. where FAO – ECTAD is running short of funding and is very likely going to reduce its technical and administrative staff to a minimum, going into hibernation mode awaiting better times. On the other hand, AU-IBAR is looking for options closer to, and if possible, within the Regional Economic Communities (REC), rather than next to the RECs as is the case in the RAHC set-up.

 


List of acronyms used in this report

  • AAHRI Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute [Thailand]
    AAHS Aquatic Animal Health Services
    ACP Africa, Caribbean, Pacific [EDF]
    ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
    AFB American Foulbrood
    AFD Agence Française de Développement [France]
    AfDB African Development Bank
    AFRO Africa Regional Headquarters [WHO]
    AHID Animal Health Information Department [OIE]
    ANMV Agence Nationale du Médicament Vétérinaire [ANSES]
    ANSES Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (formerly AFSSA) [France]
    APHIS Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [USDA]
    ARC (Global) Alliance for Rabies Control
    ARC Agricultural Research Council [South Africa]
    AU African Union
    BMC Botswana Meat Commission
    BNVL Botswana National Veterinary Laboratory
    BSC Biological Standards Commission [OIE]
    BTOR Back to Office Report
    BTSF Better Training for Safer Food (programme) [DG SANCO]
    BVI Botswana Vaccine Institute
    CAADP Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme [AU]
    CAR Central African Republic
    CBPP Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia
    CCHF Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
    CCPP Contagious Caprine Pleuro-Pneumonia
    CCTV closed – circuit television
    CCWHC Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre
    CDC Centres for Disease prevention and Control [US]
    CEEAC Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale
    CESME Centro Studi Malattie Esotiche [IZS]
    COMESA Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa
    CRVOI Centre de recherche et de veille sur les maladies émergentes dans l’Océan Indien
    CTTBD Centre for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases [AU]
    CV Curriculum Vitae
    CVL Central Veterinary Laboratory
    CVO Chief Veterinary Officer
    DAFF Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries [South Africa]
    DG-SANCO Health and Consumer Directorate General [EC]
    DIFS Department of Ichtyology and Fisheries Science [RU]
    DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
    EAC East African Community
    EC European Commission [EU]
    ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
    ECTAD Emergency Centre for TADs [FAO]
    EDF European Development Fund [EC]
    EISC Epidemiology and Informatics Sub-Committee [LTC]
    EISMV Ecole Inter-états de Sciences et Médicine Vétérinaires
    EPT Emerging Pandemic Threats [USAID]
    EU European Union
    EUR Euro
    EUS epizootic ulcerative syndrome
    FANR Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources directorate [SADC]
    FANRPAN Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
    FAO Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
    FI Fisheries Department [FAO]
    FIFA Fédération Internationale de Football Association
    FIGIS Fisheries Global Information System [FAO]
    FMD Foot and Mouth Disease
    GALVmed Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines
    GF-TAD Global Framework for the progressive control of TADs [FAO & OIE]
    HACCP Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points
    IBAR Inter-african Bureau for Animal Ressources [AU]
    ICP International Cooperation Partners
    IFAH International Federation for Animal Health
    IGAD Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
    IRCM Integrated Regional Coordination Mechanism [AU-IBAR]
    ISS Istituto Superiore de Sanita [Italy]
    IZS Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise [Italy]
    LDSC Laboratory Diagnosis Sub-Committee [LTC]
    LIMS Livestock Information Management System [SADC]
    LITS Livestock Information and Traceability System [Botswana]
    LoA Letter of Agreement
    LTC Livestock Technical Committee [SADC]
    MAEE Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes [France]
    MFMR Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources [Namibia]
    MITC Meat Inspection Training Centre [UB]
    MoU Memorandum of Understanding
    NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development [AU]
    NVI Norwegian Veterinary Institute
    NVRI Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute
    OIE World Organisation for Animal Health
    OVI Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute [ARC]
    PANVAC Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Center [AU]
    PCP Progressive Control Pathway [FMD]
    PPR Peste des Petits Ruminants
    PVS Performance of Veterinary Services [OIE]
    RAD Regional Activities Department [OIE]
    RAHC Regional Animal Health Centre
    REC Regional Economic Communities
    RIP Regional Indicative Programme [EDF]
    RR Regional Representation [OIE]
    RR-AF RR for Africa
    RU Rhodes University [South Africa]
    RVF Rift valley fever
    SA Southern Africa
    SAA South African Airways
    SAAHA South African Animal health Association
    SACIDS Southern African Centre for Infectious Diseases Surveillance
    SADC Southern African Development Community
    SADCAVEE SADC Association of VEE
    SARNISSA Sustainable Aquaculture Resource Networks in Sub Saharan Africa
    SASVEPM Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
    SAT South Africa Type [FMD]
    SAVC South African Veterinary Council
    SAX South African Express
    SCAD Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases [OIE]
    SEARG Southern and Eastern Africa Rabies Group
    SPS [Agreement on the application of] Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures [WTO]
    SRR Sub-Regional Representation [OIE]
    SRR-SA SRR for Southern Africa
    STDF Standards and Trade Development Facility [WTO]
    t ton (metric)
    TAD Transboundary Animal Disease(s)
    TAHC Terrestrial Animal Health Code
    TBD To be decided
    TFCA Transfrontier Conservation Area(s)
    UB University of Botswana
    UEMOA Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine
    UNDP United Nations Development Programme
    UNZA University of Zambia
    UP University of Pretoria [South Africa]
    US United States (of America)
    USAID United States Agency for International Development
    USD United States Dollar
    USDA United States Department of Agriculture
    VEE Flemish Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economy
    VEE veterinary educational establishments
    VICH International Cooperation on Harmonisation of technical requirements for registration of Veterinary products
    VLA Veterinary Laboratories Agency [UK]
    VOIP Voice over Internet Protocol
    VS Veterinary Services
    VSB Veterinary Statutory Body
    WAHID World Animal Health Information Database [OIE]
    WAHIS World Animal Health Information System [OIE]
    WCS Wildlife Conservation Society
    WFC World Fish Centre
    WHO World Health Organization,
    WNF West Nile Fever
    WTO World Trade Organisation
    WVA World Veterinary Association
    ZA South Africa (Republic of)