26 January 2018 - Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a vector-borne pox disease of cattle characterized by the appearance of skin nodules. Long restricted to sub-Saharan Africa, LSD has slowly invaded new territories over the past decade (Middle East, Turkey, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Russian Federation). Official veterinarians, cattle farmers and others along the value chain are therefore unfamiliar with the disease’s clinical presentation, its transmission routes, and available prevention and control options.
Bluetongue (BT) is also an insect-transmitted viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants with the ability to rapidly spread across national borders and reach epidemic proportions, thus requiring regional cooperation in prevention, control and eradication of the disease. BT situation in the Europe has considerably changed in recent years with incursions of new serotypes.
Both diseases have dramatic effects on rural livelihoods, but also at national level due to trade restrictions. The latest developments with the outbreaks of BT and LSD put to the test the veterinary services in the Balkan region.
Because of the above, FAO aimed to increase the awareness for this two diseases and to strengthen the capacity of the veterinary service of the FYR of Macedonia for early detection and effective control and eradication of the afore mentioned diseases, taking into account the lessons learned from the crisis faced in the Balkans due to the epidemics of BT (2014) and LSD (2016). A two-level train-of-trainer/cascade training was implemented to reach official veterinarians from the Food and Veterinary Agency (FVA), plus veterinarians in private veterinary practices contracted with the government across all seven regions of the country. Tsviatko Alexandrov (Bulgarian Food Safety Authority) and Blagojcho Tabakovski (FVA) were engaged in designing the two-stage training modules.
Module 1 to train the core trainers was a 2-day workshop held in Skopje on 13-14 September 2017 at FVA. Eleven official veterinarians from the different regions, plus additional participants from FVA’s head office were trained.
Module 2 to train the rest of veterinarians, plus several livestock advisors from the National Extension Agency consisted of 1-day trainings of trainers were held between 10 and 26 October 2017 in seven major cities (Gevgelija, Kratovo, Prilep, Kicevo, Sveti Nikole, Skopje and Tetovo). The Module 1 core trainers were responsible for conducting the trainings.
A total number of 281 participants were trained, which represents over 75% of the veterinarians (both official and private) that engage in conducting animal health public work. Each of the trained veterinarian received a copy of the Lumpy Skin Disease field manual for veterinarians in Macedonian (also available in English, Russian, Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian and Turkish).
PowerPoint presentations and agenda can be downloaded here. Additional materials and instructions that would allow to replicate the training elsewhere are available on request by contacting [email protected].
In addition, a 60-second video was produced to increase public awareness on the early detection and notification of LSD and BT, and to improve on-farm biosecurity measures. The video is available in Macedonian and Albanian in FVA’s website.