01 August 2014 - The Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs), a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), combines the strengths of both organizations to fight Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) based on regional priorities.
Two annual GF-TADs Regional Steering Committee meetings (RSC) were recently held: the 8th RSC for Africa in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso (7 - 9 July 2014) and the 9th RSC for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand (16 - 17 July 2014). Participants from FAO, OIE, stakeholders and regional representatives provided an update on the GF-TADs Action Plan and the relevant activities and progress made.
The RSC for Asia and the Pacific was held in conjunction with the 5th Steering Committee meeting of the EU-funded Regional Cooperation Programme on Highly Pathogenic and Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases (HPED). The HPED meeting helped to identify and present the epidemiological status on emerging diseases as well as propose additional, common or neglected diseases to the list of priority TADs.
During the RSC meetings strategies and objectives were discussed, as well as synergies and complementarities between regional agencies. Participants shared information on ongoing projects and their state of progress and discussed a possible revision of the five year Action Plan as well as activities and outcomes recorded at global, regional and subregional levels.
In Asia, the agenda included a review of the coordination of TADs control activities between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and an update on the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic diseases. FAO and OIE's coordination of ongoing and new projects funded by Donor agencies for TADS, including zoonotic disease control, were also covered in the meeting.
In Ouagadougou, FAO, OIE and the African-Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) provided the current epidemiological situation of TADs and zoonoses in Africa. Among the many items on the agenda, the need was stressed to improve surveillance systems to address the gaps in the epidemiological knowledge of prioritized diseases and to increase concrete actions under the "One Health" approach, including better information sharing on TADs and zoonoses, with a focus on rabies.
The initiative of the Global Secretariat of the GF-TADs is to develop a global perspective, making use of lessons learnt to draft guidelines to support the development of criteria for new priority diseases. GF-TADs is working towards better communication, coordination and interaction among implementing agencies at a regional level, pursuing new outputs and outcomes and developing new perspectives to support the control and eradication of TADs around the world.