More than 500 participants from 100 countries participated in this first OIE/FAO FMD Global Conference that included producers and representatives from livestock/meat associations, pharmaceutical industries, regional organizations, donors and financial institutions, diagnostic laboratories and national veterinary services. Chief Veterinary Officers from South America, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Middle East and Europe took part of this important meeting.
The Conference was supported by the European Commission, the governments of Spain, Brazil and Paraguay. FAO made a significant contribution to the meeting to make possible the participation of experts and officials from veterinary services from developing countries. The programme of the conference included presentations on FMD control regional approaches from different regions of the world including South East Asia (SEAFMD), Southern Africa (SADC), South America (PAMA), Europe (EUFMD) and some national programmes. Other key issues covered in the programme were diagnostic tools for FMD, vaccination, international trade, private and public partnerships, progressive pathway to FMD control, and FMD surveillance.
Joseph Domenech as Head of the FAO delegation indicated that FAO following its mandate given by Member Countries is targeting FMD as an important animal disease that has been prioritised since its high socioeconomic impact on livelihoods and food security in endemic areas in particular in developing countries. There is an evident need to improve the evaluation of the socio-economic impact of FMD and the progressive control and eradication programs at national and regional levels. The FMD situation worldwide merits the attention of the international community and donors and it needs to be controlled at source and step by step. For this FAO is supporting its member countries in the control of FMD through capacity building, implementing laboratory networks, vaccination and surveillance. Moreover, FAO has been involved in successful regional efforts to control and eliminate diseases such as FMD in Europe and rinderpest through its Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP).
FAO's approach for the progressive control of FMD in endemic settings was presented during the Conference including the presentation of a video. This approach focus on concepts to understand FMD in endemic settings and the presentation of a step wise approach for the progressive control of FMD from countries in 5 main stages being stages 0 to 3 endemic countries with different risk management options following principles adapted from used in HACCP. Stages 4 and 5 are OIE FMD-free status with vaccination and without vaccination, respectively.
FAO has organised two workshops at regional level to discuss this progressive control approach with member countries. For instance, draft Regional Roadmaps to FMD control by 2020 were developed at two regional workshops for West Eurasia (held in Shiraz , Iran - November 2008) and sub-Saharan Africa (held in Nairobi, Kenya - January 2009). This innovative concept was very well appreciated and received by the audience as a methodological and participative tool for progressively control of FMD in endemic settings. The approach is risk based and is complementary to OIE PVS (Performance of Veterinary Services) evaluations, allowing to countries to be prepared to follow the OIE procedures for freedom recognition with or without vaccination. For instance, the Progressive Control Approach will be used as a guide tool for countries involved in the FAO project funded by the Spanish and Italian Cooperation in the Andean Community in South America. Participants from developing and transition countries asked to FAO to continue supporting national capacity building programs for the implementation of the progressive control pathway in different regions and helping countries to comply with OIE standards.
Follow up meetings agreed between FAO and OIE for 2010 are:
- Beijing, China - agreed as a pledging conference.
- New Delhi, India - Scientific meeting on FMD control.