The EuFMD Commission has outlined a ‘Real-Time’ Training Program which is an intensive, 4 day program of clinical FMD investigation for the recognition and sampling of animals for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). Participants receive intensive class-room training for one day followed by 2-3 days of visiting suspect outbreaks, carrying out a full investigation of suspected cases and collection of epi-information, testing of samples onsite or at a laboratory equipped to undertake ELISA and penside tests for virus and antibody, and analyses to trace the movements of animals and to trace source and spread of infection.
The objectives are to train veterinarians from EuFMD Member State and non-EuFMD states in Europe (EU members or western Balkan countries) in the skills required to undertake clinical and epidemiological inquiries of suspected FMD cases; to establish a network of veterinarians in Europe and the neighbourhood who can contribute to improving the training materials, share best practises and improve the contingency planning for FMD, and contribute to the wider debate on FMD control policies; and to develop a bank of online resources that will assist the MS, and any interested party, in training of veterinary staff in FMD diagnostic and investigation procedures, and which will assist to validate/review new diagnostic procedures that become available during the training, (such as use of thermal imaging cameras to detect febrile animals, and those with feet lesions).
The Eufmd has also implemented a four-week training course on Practical Epidemiology for Progressive Control (PeP-C) to help provide state veterinary services with the epidemiology skills needed to control FMD. The emphasis of this course is on the development of the ‘epidemiological approach’. That is for any activity: define the objectives, design a study to meet these objectives, conduct the study, analyse the data, communicate the results and take appropriate action. The course is based around the Progressive Control Pathway (PCP) and is very practical with lecture time minimised and students learning whilst working on problems using case-studies. Field investigations will be conducted during the course. In addition course homework will require the participants to apply their newly acquired skills to problems they encounter when trying to control FMD in their own country.