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J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2007 Jun;78(2):92-8.

Building capacity for improved veterinary epidemiosurveillance in southern Africa.

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Directorate of Veterinary Services, Windhoek, Namibia.


A workshop to produce recommendations on training requirements for improved epidemiosurveillance of livestock diseases in southern Africa was organised at the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases in the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria. It was attended by 23 persons representing 10 different southern African countries. The majority of the participants were actively involved in veterinary epidemiosurveillance and many of them were members of the SADC Epidemiology and Informatics Subcommittee. Discussions focused on (i) epidemiosurveillance networks and their 2 main components, i.e. (ii) diagnosis and (iii) information flow. The debates were guided by 3 questions; (i) what are the requirements for an effective network, (ii) what cannot be achieved with existing capacity and (iii) how can the current capacity be improved. Workshop participants developed lists of realistic capacity building needs, which were divided into structural needs and training requirements. Structural needs mainly concerned communication means and quality assurance. With regard to training, the need for appropriate continuing education of all actors at the various disease management levels (non-professional, para-professional, professional) was expressed. Special emphasis was put on capacity building at the lowest level, i.e. the livestock owner and the para-professionals at the community level. At the international level, it was felt that special emphasis should be put on building capacity to improve the understanding of international agreements on trade in animals and animal products and to improve the capacity of negotiating such agreements.

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