07 July 2016 - As part of the emergency project TCP/MON/3603 “Emergency assistance for the control of Sheep and Goat Pox” (SGP) aimed to support the national authorities in Mongolia against the recurring outbreaks of this important transboundary animal disease, an inception workshop was held on Ulaanbaatar on 20 June 2016. This meeting aimed to update on the current situation of SGP in the country, establish an expert panel and review the work plan of the project.
Following this event and as part of the TCP project FAO/OIE’s Crisis Management Crisis-Animal Health (CMC-AH) and the FAO Representative Office in Mongolia organized in Ulaanbaatar, from 21 to 23 June 2016, a national workshop on Good Emergency Management Practice (GEMP) aimed at increasing the country’s awareness in the importance of risk-based preparedness to animal disease outbreaks, with a special focus on sheep and goat pox as part of the objectives of the emergency project.
The objective of the GEMP workshop was to present FAO’s “Good Emergency Management Practice: The Essentials” manual’s main chapters in a participatory manner through group and simulation exercises. The manual offers a set of clear concepts and guiding principles for veterinary services to implement or strengthen their preparedness to infectious animal diseases, through the development of preparedness or contingency plans and SOPs.
Thirty veterinary officers, national emergency agency officers and private veterinarians from the eastern regions of the country, mainly from the field offices, participated in the workshop and shared their own experience in preventing and controlling transboundary animal diseases (TADs). Issues encountered when dealing with SGP and Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreaks stimulated discussion among them, through a participatory approach. Participants were able to share their own experience and difficulties encountered in animal disease control and prevention and the strategies used in each districts depending on local specificities.
The participants identified a number of issues related to the current general animal health legislation, especially regarding SGP:
- The need to create a preparedness/contingency plan and specific SOPs to ease the application of regulation measures on the field;
- The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) should be at the centre of the disease management system: the CVO should be the first informed of laboratory results and should be the one responsible for any actions taken on the field;
- Passive and active surveillance of the disease should be reinforced, especially through improvement of sampling methods;
- The private sector’s responsibility in disease management should be increased : support to herders on biosecurity, disease awareness and husbandry capacity should be planned and provided;
- Animal registration should be established in order to sustain a more efficient disease control strategy;
- Public awareness should be prepared and rightly implemented;
- Emergency Management Evaluation needs to be implemented during and after any outbreak management cycles to learn from past experience and correct current measures taken on the field;
- Emergency funding needs integrated in the plan and ready to be used;
- A recovery plan should be designed and integrated to the national response strategy.
Participants were involved in practical group exercises on response to hypothetical cases of Newcastle Disease and H7N9, including human cases in a neighboring country. They also applied the GEMP principles in assessing their needs in contingency planning to better control and prevent SGP.
As of today, 685 participants from 58 countries have participated in the GEMP workshops, either at the regional or at the national level.