23 December 2016 - In the context of the FAO’s component of USAID-funded Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) programme, the Tanzania Animal Health Surveillance Network (TANSNet) was launched by Dr. Charles Tizeba, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF), the United Republic of Tanzania at a workshop held in Arusha from 5th – 6th December 2016. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - ECTAD facilitated and supported MALF to establish and launch TANSNet.
As part of its effort to enhance the animal diseases surveillance system, EPT-2 Programme is supporting the Directorate of Veterinary Services in Tanzania to strengthen the passive surveillance system, a vital tool for early detection of endemic and emerging disease outbreaks, in order to trigger rapid response. FAO, through the USAID-funded EPT-2 Programme, supported and facilitated the establishment and launch of TANSNet in Tanzania.
During the 1st day of the workshop, a total of 26 experts, drawn from MALF particularly the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA), Ministry of Natural Resources Livestock and Fisheries – Zanzibar, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government Authorities (PO-RALG), Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Veterinary Council of Tanzania (VCT) and FAO developed the terms of references (ToRs) and Governance structure in preparation for official launch of the Network on the 2nd day.
The 2nd day of the workshop overlapped with the Annual Conference of the Tanzania Veterinary Association (TVA), during which TANSNet was officially launched by the Minister of MALF. The TANSNet launching ceremony was attended by the Minister of MALF, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Livestock Sector, the Director of the Veterinary Services, the Chairman of TVA and more than 100 veterinarians. FAO was applauded for the initiative and support provided to establish TANSNet. The meeting has improved awareness of veterinarians about the Network as well as provided FAO with the visibility on its activities related to the EPT-2 Programme.
TANSNet is an umbrella network comprising of both the Epidemiology and Laboratory components of the Veterinary Services. It’s believed that it will serve as a platform for sharing information and good practices on disease surveillance and control endeavours. In addition, TANSNet is tasked with evaluation of disease control measures and identification of research needs.