The Transboundary Animal Disease Information System (TADinfo) is an information technology tool that is designed to provide data management and decision support to national veterinary epidemiology units. TADinfo collects information on disease surveillance activities to support decision making on disease control at national levels and reporting to national, regional and international early warning mechanisms.
The tool was developed by the Emergency Prevention Systems (EMPRES) programme at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as an applied, practical, and simple computer-based package to help veterinarians solve pressing real-life problems. Nowadays, veterinary services of countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America are using this tool.
Given the emergence of infectious animal diseases around the world and the expected rise of new insidious pathogens, it is believed that enhancing local disease intelligence capabilities might assist in preventing disease events from becoming serious threats to animals and humans.
In view of this, FAO held a training event aimed at disseminating the proper use of TADinfo among Central American national veterinary services. The capacity-building exercise took place in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from 16 to 21 August 2010. It was attended by national veterinary officers from Honduras, El Salvador and Belize.
This training activity was lead by Dr. Christopher Hamilton, a member of the Global Early Warning and Response System (GLEWS) at FAO headquarters in Rome, and it was made possible under FAO' s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) regional project on epidemiological surveillance of Pandemic Influenza H1N1/2009 virus and other infectious diseases.
The participants of this training recognized the need to count with a field-tested animal disease information system that allows analysis, classification and storage of animal health information to assist veterinary officials in decision-making processes. Additionally, they noted that further assistance is needed from FAO and other partners in building veterinary capacities to deal with more emergent animal health issues that affect animals and livestock-dependent farmers in the region.
FAO, for its part, will continue its commitment to advance its mandate to reinforce veterinary services, improving animal health, raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.
ECTAD, EMPRES and GLEWS, as well as other programmes, are implemented and managed by the Animal Production and Health Division.