03 February 2014 - Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a widespread, virulent and devastating animal disease of domestic and wild small ruminants. It is caused by a morbillivirus closely related to the rinderpest virus. It can have significant economic, food security and livelihood impacts. The presence of the virus has been confirmed in large areas of Asia, the Middle East and Africa and is spreading to new countries, affecting and threatening an increasing number of small ruminant and livestock keepers.
During the 37th Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Conference declaring global rinderpest freedom, FAO was requested “to initiate, in collaboration with global, regional and national partners, appropriate programmes for the control and eradication of peste des petits ruminants within the framework of improved small ruminant health”. Collaborative mechanisms successfully implemented during rinderpest eradication could be employed for PPR.
As one of the priority diseases identified by the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) at global and regional level, FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) proposed that PPR control and eradication be held under the GF-TADs umbrella. The OIE and FAO established a Global GF-TADs PPR Working Group in charge of developing a Global Strategy for the control of PPR. They also provided a PPR monitoring tool for the progressive control of the disease and are organizing an International Scientific and Technical meeting on PPR prevention and control in 2014.
FAO and OIE are establishing the Global Research and Expertise Network on PPR (PPR-GREN) to support the continuous improvement of the PPR Global Control Strategy through creating innovative tools and methods to develop research, and through the promotion of public-private partnerships. The Network will build strong partnerships between researchers and technical bodies, regional organizations as well as recognized experts and development partners. It will also play an important advocacy role with: (i) policy-makers at national, regional and international levels; (ii) national Veterinary Services; and (iii) livestock owners.
This E-Conference serves to collect input from the scientific, technical and policy decision-makers and interested stakeholder communities in view of the launch and establishment of PPR-GREN. The following topics have been suggested for discussion during the E-Conference: (i) the opportunities and weaknesses regarding PPR control strategies; (ii) identifying and prioritizing the themes and sub-themes to be addressed by PPR-GREN; (iii) establishing whether the Network is inclusive or exclusive of other small ruminant diseases; and (iv) organizing the Network and rendering it operational.
The expected outcomes of the E-Conference include an agreed way of operating for the Network and establishing a list of recommended topics to be addressed by PPR-GREN in support of the formulation and/or implementation of the PPR control strategy. The list will cover research, technical, organizational and policy issues and will serve as a basis for structuring PPR-GREN into various thematic and research groups.
This E-Conference will provide an opportunity for discussion with PPR disease control managers, researchers, sociologists, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), the private sector and development workers with an interest in PPR control and the development of small ruminant productions at large. In addition to the forum discussion, written contributions averaging 500 words long are welcome. All e-mail exchanges need to be addressed to FAO-animal health-l.
At the end of the E-Conference a synthesis of the discussions will be compiled, published electronically and shared with all participants. This document will also be used as a working document for the Global PPR Control Strategy formulation to be presented during an international conference in December 2014.