CARIBVET FACES NEW CHALLENGES IN ANIMAL HEALTH
The Caribbean Animal Health Network, CaribVET, convenes its 8th Steering Committee last week in St. Lucia at the Coco Palm Hotel, Rodney Bay.
The meeting, which lasted two days(22nd and 23rd of April), officially closed the IV Interreg Caribbean project that helped build a sustainable network, today recognized for its exemplary operation.
Recognized throughout the Caribbean, the United States and internationally, the regional animal health network comprises the heads of veterinary services in 32 Caribbean countries and territories, and representatives of 10 other bodies including : Regional (CARICOM), International (OIE, FAO, USDA, IICA, PAHO), Universities (University of Guyana, University of the West Indies) and Research Institutes (CENSA, CIRAD). All members have participated in the meeting in St Lucia, to enhance and promulgate the work of CaribVET in the region.
Numerous health challenges
Some of the many health challenges that the network have addressed include : developing a regional emergency response plan ; eradication of Classical Swine Fever in the Caribbean in 2020 ; evaluating tick resistance to acaricides and improving the fight against diseases transmitted by ticks to ruminants ; and developing a vaccine against heartwater disease in animals such as cattle, sheep and goats
‘In seeking to maintain its relevance to the membership, CaribVET is currently formulating its quality assurance strategy to aid in streamlining its objectives and work programme. The network is also in the process of assessing the costs, impact and benefits of its actions. These issues are also expected to be discussed at the 8th Meeting of the Steering Committee and in which reaffirmation of the network’s long term strategy and definition of the 2014 workplan will be executed’ says Margaret Kalloo, of the CARICOM Secretariat, at the beginning of the meeting.
A tool for the professionals
Since its inception in 2006, CaribVET has helped to improve the monitoring and control of priority diseases for the poultry, swine and small ruminant industries, in the Caribbean. Some of these diseases included : Classical Swine Fever, Teschen disease, Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, Heartwater, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. Recently, CaribVET also commenced work on animal diseases that threaten human health, such as Rabies and Leptospirosis.
"The strength of our network is based on the sustainable and inclusive approach, which consist of sharing the knowledge, information (regional and international monitoring), methodology, and expertise on diseases among jurisdictions. Network members work closely together beyond political division and language barriers, they are very committed" said Dr. Jennifer Pradel, CIRAD Guadeloupe and facilitator of CaribVET. Thus, various exchanges and training organized by the network, with the support of its partners, help to strengthen continuous capacity of local professionals in the diagnosis, surveillance, prevention and control of diseases.
CaribVET was co-funded by France and Europe and coordinated by CIRAD (Centre International de Recherche en Agronomie pour le Developpement) based in Guadeloupe for the French Territories and the Caribbean Region.
Source : France Antilles