AGA IN ACTION
Public release of the new EMPRES-i
EMPRES Global Animal Disease Information System (EMPRES-i) is a web-based application that has been designed to support veterinary services by facilitating regional and global disease information. Timely and reliable disease information enhances early warning and response to transboundary animal diseases (TADs) including emergent zoonoses, and supports their progressive control and elimination.
EMPRES-i aims to clarify disease events worldwide that FAO receives from different sources: country or regional project reports, field mission reports, partner Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), cooperating institutions, government Ministries of Agriculture and Health, FAO in-country representations or other United Nations agencies, public domains, the media and web-based health surveillance systems. For verification purposes, EMPRES uses not just official, but also unofficial sources of information (such as in-country assistance projects and personal contacts with NGOs and other institutions). This allows maintaining a good level of awareness on TADs and zoonoses. This information is used to generate and disseminate early warning messages, but it is also fed into the EMPRES-i database and disposed (when confirmed or denied) in a structured and digested format to the public.
EMPRES-i provides updated information on global animal disease distribution and current threats at national, regional and global level. It also provides access to publications, manuals and other resources, such as contact details of Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs).
The EMPRES-i platform is an EMPRES initiative, conceived in response to the growing demand of users for animal health information systems, one-touch disease information gathering and sharing formula. The system is under continuous development and new features will be added in the future. Particularly there are a lot of improvements in progress to make the system faster and to enhance the geographical mapping features (i.e. adding new layers). For the moment, public users can access the following features:
- Disease events database. Under the Disease Events tab, EMPRES-i enables users to easy access and retrieve information on animal disease outbreaks/cases throughout the world according to user search criteria (disease, date, species, location, etc). Data can then be easily exported into two available formats (PDF and Excel) for further analysis.
- Mapping/graphing tools. The mapping/graphing tools allow to select outbreaks/cases from the database and represent them graphically as charts (by time or by location) or geographically on a map that can be tailored by adding optional layers, such as livestock population, biophysical layers, socioeconomics, animal health, trade, etc. These layers are created and maintained by the Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas (GLiPHA), which is a user-friendly, highly interactive electronic atlas using the Key Indicator Data System (KIDS).
- Library. The Library section allows to search for FAO technical material such as books, bulletins, reports, newsletters, manuals, guidelines, etc , according to different criteria. It allows users to search information related to the current situation, epidemiology, diagnoses and control of TADs by a number of criteria (document type, topic, language, date or free text).
- Directory. The directory section allows searching for contact information on National Authorities, including Chief Veterinary Officers in each country. EMPRES-i users could search by a number of criteria (location, disease, category or free text). In the near future, it will also provide contact details of FAO reference centres and FAO/OIE reference laboratories.