26 April 2013 - FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen (SNG), the Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (RNE), the Animal Production and Health Division, and the Country Programme Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) joined efforts for the organization of a Sub-Regional workshop aimed at formulating a strategy for the control of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in the Arabian Peninsula held in Riyadh between 1 and3 April.
Representatives from all member countries of SNG (Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) together with a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) representative, and FAO officers from RNE, SNG and Headquarters discussed the current epidemiological situation in the Arabian Peninsula, identified major knowledge gaps and research needs and agreed on key steps towards the development of a Sub-Regional strategy.
Countries confirmed their commitment to a regionally coordinated PPR control strategy and reiterated the role of FAO and OIE in assisting them in developing effective surveillance programmes, conducting socio-economic studies and value chain analysis as tools for strategy setting and strengthening information exchange, as well as effective communication and public awareness approaches.
The participants agreed on the need for studies to investigate the possible involvement of dromedaries and wildlife in PPR transmission the duration of post-vaccinal immunity and the development of multivalent vaccines for the prevention of PPR and other small ruminant diseases. Participants agreed as well on the importance of establishing a Regional Reference Laboratory for PPR and called upon the GCC Secretariat to play an increasing role in advocating for a coordinated PPR control strategy in the Sub-Region.