24 February 2017 - A workshop on Good Emergency Management Practices (GEMP) was conducted in Bagamoyo, Tanzania on 31 January- 3 February 2017 with twenty four participants from multiple sectors. The workshop was jointly organized by the FAO Tanzania Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) team and FAO headquarters Crisis Management Centre for Animal Health (CMC-AH), in collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Services – Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. Participants were drawn from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) - Tanzania Mainland, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries - Zanzibar (MANRLF), Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Zonal Veterinary Centres (ZVC), District Veterinary Offices (DVO), World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Elderly and Children, Ministry of Health - Zanzibar, PREDICT2, Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), and the One Health Coordination Unit.
Mr. Fred Kafeero, FAO Tanzania Country Representative, officially opened the workshop. He emphasized in his remarks about the predicted doubling of demand for protein of animal origin in developing countries by 2050 as a result of population growth and increasing affluence in emerging economies. He called for efficient management of high impact diseases in Tanzania, including zoonoses, to enable efforts to meet the projected demand. He further informed participants that occurance of transboundary animal diseases are major factors that adversely affect livestock production and productivity; negatively impacting the contribution of the sector to poverty reduction and food security. The effective control of such diseases, he said, depends on coordination between local, district, regional and national programmes in the framework of GEMP. He encouraged Tanzania to take valuable lessons from the response to the H5N8 outreaks in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The multi-day workshop was an interactive participatory forum conducted through short presentations, group work and plenary discussions. During the workshop, the Tanzania National Avian and Pandemic Influenza Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and the Tanzania National Rift Valley Fever Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan were reviewed and recommended changes catalogued for updates.
The workshop successfully met its objectives to equip participants on the principles GEMP and tools of epidemiological investigation, enhance awareness of preparedness and contingency planning, and sensitize participants on the FAO’s component of the USAID-funded EPT-2 programme. Near the completion of the session, participants gained consensus on an action plan containing short, medium and long term actions to enhance Tanzania preparedness and response. They developed influenza outbreak field epidemiological questionnaires which will soon be merged into one document for the country and created a Tanzania GEMP working group to encourage and track continued progress on the action plan. Two members of the Tanzania ECTAD team will be responsible to liaise with FAO headquarters and coordinate the working group. During the evaluation at the end of the workshop, participants indicated that their capacity was strengthened for efficient and effective preparedness and response to animal disease emergencies, including those in wildlife.