10 March 2016 – As part of the implementation of the pilot project entitled “Improving Policy for Veterinary Laboratories in Kenya,’’ a Technical Working Group meeting took place at Fish Eagle Inn, Naivasha, Kenya from16-18 February 2016.
Members of the Technical Working Group included representatives from: National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI); Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB); Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO); Ministry of Health Public Health Reference Lab; Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB); Kenya Veterinary Services, including the Diagnostic Services Division, Policy Coordination and Capacity Development Division; as well as representatives from FAO (Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) Lab Unit in FAO HQ, Rome and Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Nairobi); a national policy and an international legal consultant.
The project aims to pilot in Kenya the implementation of guidelines for strengthening national veterinary laboratory policy; developed by FAO following a review of veterinary laboratory policies at national and regional level conducted in 2013. The project implemented by the Kenya Department of Veterinary Services and FAO is funded within the implementation of the Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa programme funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by AU-IBAR, OIE and FAO.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting followed a desktop review organised in Nairobi from 20 – 21 January 2015 to identify gaps and challenges in the existing information related to veterinary laboratories in Kenya and a Stakeholders Consultation meeting held in Naivasha from 29th – 30th January 2015 to: (i) identify the areas for intervention that should be considered in the development of a veterinary laboratory policy; and (ii) adopt a road map for improved policy for Kenyan veterinary laboratory system.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting objectives were to: (i) familiarise the participants with the veterinary laboratory service delivery in Kenya and other countries; (ii) update the participants on work done so far; (iii) analyse challenges and propose solutions –policy, strategies, and technical, administrative; and (iv) develop the first draft veterinary laboratory policy for Kenya.
A major outcome of the meeting was defining of a road map for the finalisation of the process. The next step will involve the establishment of a writing committee that will be tasked with producing the next draft of the veterinary laboratory policy and thereafter a large stakeholder’s consultation meeting will be held. It is expected that a zero draft of the policy will be presented to the Kenya Department of Veterinary Services.
It is also foreseen that FAO will provide support towards the organisation of national laboratory network meeting in Kenya to aid in pushing the veterinary laboratory policy development process further.