24 March 2017 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Uganda has reoriented its stakeholders on the new work plan for year two of the USAID funded Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) linked to Joint External Evaluation Tool (JEE) which includes prioritisation of zoonotic diseases which were not part of the earlier work plan.
The move follows a workshop held in Kampala earlier this month in which stakeholders agreed to prioritise zoonotic diseases for Uganda including anthrax, zoonotic influenza viruses, rabies, viral hemorrhagic fevers (ebola, rift valley fever, crimean congo haemorrhagic fever and marburg), brucellosis, trypanosomosis, and plague and rabies.
The meeting was officiated by the ECTAD Uganda Team Leader, Dr. Fredrick Kivaria on behalf of the FAO Country Representative Mr Alhaji Jallow who indicated that the work plan will address four priority Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) action packages including; zoonotic diseases, biosafety and biosecurity, national laboratory system and work force development, among others.
A total of sixteen participants drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Health (MOH), College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB)/Makerere University, Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), PREDICT 2 (P2) and FAO attended the meeting.
The team further discussed the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) tool which was piloted in Uganda in February, 2015 and is now being used as a guiding tool for the development of the reoriented work plan under the GHSA.
“The new work plan will be a country driven process and activities will be aimed at capacity building for responding to priority zoonotic diseases. Capacity building will mainly be in form of procurement of laboratory equipment and staff training,” said Dr, Kivaria.
The FAO team presented various activities and the proposed timelines until September, 2017, observing that that the new work plan will address country priorities based on existing weaknesses and that there must be a clear methodology of enhancing synergy from the different stakeholders.
Activities will be targeted at developing a strong and well-coordinated passive surveillance system for priority zoonotic diseases.
On behalf of the Director for Animal Resources, MAAIF, Dr. Anna Rose Ademun conveyed greetings from MAAIF and thanked FAO for the efforts to feed Uganda and the world at large. She expressed happiness on the idea of work plan realignment to GHSA as it will be more responsive to the country needs. She thanked USAID for supporting this activity.