Rome, 29 November - 10 December 2003
PROGRESS REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE PAN AFRICAN TSETSE AND TRYPANOSOMIASIS ERADICATION CAMPAIGN
1. Tsetse-transmitted trypanosomiasis is a disease unique to Africa affecting both humans and animals. This disease occurs in about 10 million km2 in 37 sub-Saharan countries corresponding almost one-third of Africa’s total land area. Trypanosomiasis has a severe economic impact on African agricultural production. In affected countries, the disease causes an estimated annual loss of US$ 4.5 billion and greatly constrains socio-economic development, limits land use, optimal utilization of natural resources, and causes poverty and food insecurity.
2. It is therefore no coincidence that out of the 37 tsetse-infested countries, 32 are Low-Income Food Deficit Countries and 29 are Least Developed Countries. The reinforcement of agriculture is a key element in the fight against poverty in most of these countries, and livestock provides important contributions to livelihoods and markets in more than 20 countries where the disease occurs. Trypanosomiasis is therefore a constant and serious threat to food security in tsetse infested areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
3. The control and ultimate elimination of the human and animal diseases transmitted by the tsetse flies would significantly contribute to increased productivity of land and livestock and to reduce rural poverty in Africa.
4. Given the sub-continental scale of the tsetse fly problem and considering its complex and dynamic medical, veterinary, agricultural and rural development dimensions, Member Nations have recognized the need to establish focus and direction in the fight against tsetse and trypanosomiasis. This is pursued under two complementary programmes, the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) and the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC).
5. PAAT, established by the 29th FAO Conference in 1997 (Resolution 5/1997), provides the umbrella for inter-agency collaboration and comprises the joint efforts of the African Union (AU), FAO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). AU , through its Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR), implements and coordinates, interalia, livestock disease control projects in Africa. IBAR also retains specific responsibilities for the organization and administration of the International and Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control (ISCTRC). FAO is an official member of the Executive Committee of ISCTRC. FAO undertakes the technical analyses of the precise nature of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis constraint to agricultural and rural development, and promotes and implements an integrated approach for rural development of tsetse-affected areas. FAO also provides the secretariat of PAAT. IAEA is involved through the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, located in Vienna, where the main activities include the development of diagnostic techniques, of disease epidemiology and of the application of the sterile insect technique. The responsibilities of WHO range over a wide spectrum of activities demanded for the understanding, control and surveillance of human sleeping sickness and its relationships with the animal disease.
6. PAAT has achieved international scientific and technical recognition for providing reliable science-based advice to Member Nations on tsetse and trypanosomiasis matters. The Programme, based on a country-driven consultative advisory structure, is well placed to advise on international technical policy, and to assist and promote regional and national programmes, as well as to identify project guidelines, research priorities and strategies on tsetse and trypanosomiasis interventions.
7. PAAT produces scientific/technical bulletins, provides dissemination of tsetse and trypanosomiasis related information, organizes annual meetings of the Panel of PAAT Advisory Group (PAG) Coordinators, endorsed by the Resolution 5/1997 as a Statutory Body, and of the Programme Committee, a decision-making body comprising senior technical advisors, representatives of affected countries, donors and international research institutions. The PAAT Programme Committee provides overall Programme direction on the basis of advice given by the Panel of PAG Coordinators. The Panel, in turn, receives advice from the FAO Liaison Officers, field based country representatives who assist in the collation of information on national priorities and activities.
8. PATTEC, established on 12 July 2000, in Lomé (Togo), by the 36th ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) - now African Union - has a more operational orientation as it seeks to pave the way for the implementation of field programmes, placing emphasis on the elimination of tsetse populations, primarily through the application of the Sterile-Insect Technique (SIT).
9. The establishment of PATTEC underlines the recognition at the highest political level of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem as a key constraint to African development. A first outline for PATTEC implementation was approved by the Heads of State and Government at the AU Summit in July 2001, in Lusaka (Zambia). PATTEC was officially launched at the 26th Meeting of ISCTRC in October 2001, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). In March 2002, the PATTEC Policy and Mobilisation Committee (PMC) first met at the AU Headquarters, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
10. The 31st FAO Conference in November 2001, welcomed, in Resolution 4/2001, the AU initiative for the progressive control and ultimate eradication of tsetse flies in Africa (PATTEC), urged affected Member Nations to include tsetse fly eradication in their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), and requested the FAO Secretariat to support PATTEC and to report on the implementation of this Resolution to the 32nd Conference.
11. FAO has been, in line with Resolution 4/2001, working to enhance synergy and harmonization between PAAT and PATTEC. The two programmes share the long-term objective of the removal of the trypanosomiasis constraint from sub-Saharan Africa.
12. PAAT is a broad international forum and seeks to bring together all those concerned with tsetse and African trypanosomiasis research and control intervention. In particular, the supportive role of FAO - through PAAT - to PATTEC, is to provide it with international expertise on various aspects of tsetse and disease management, and the associated issues of land use, environmental protection and sustainable livestock-agricultural and socio-economic development. PATTEC’s action plan focuses on area-wide approaches to tsetse control, which are defined as the management and elimination of entire tsetse populations within circumscribed areas.
13. The progress made by Member Nations in terms of highlighting the need to address tsetse and trypanosomiasis problems in their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) is somewhat slow. With few exceptions, Member Nations have, so far, not yet explicitly identified the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem as a major obstacle in the fight against poverty in their PRSPs. PAAT and PATTEC are jointly working towards more general recognition of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis constraint as a key issue to be addressed at national and regional level for enhancing agricultural productivity and poverty alleviation in affected areas. In this regard, FAO has advanced the consultation with Member Nations to create a conducive environment for the recognition, at the policy makers’ level, of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis constraint, its inclusion in PRSPs, and the development and implementation of field programmes against the vectors and the disease.
14. The main contribution provided to PATTEC by FAO - through PAAT - concerns technical and scientific support. FAO organizes annual meetings of the Panel of the PAAT Advisory Group Coordinators, PAAT Programme Committee and international workshops, prepares internationally recognized guidelines and assists Member Nations in the process of priority setting in tsetse and trypanosomiasis control. Also, FAO hosts and runs the PAAT Information System (PAAT IS) which allows PAAT and PATTEC partners to interact and communicate with the scientific and technical community, policy makers, donors and planners in the field throughout Africa. The PAAT IS comprises an electronic atlas on tsetse and agriculture, country profiles, and literature references. FAO regularly publishes the Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Information Quarterly, a bibliographic knowledge base with over 12 000 references and the PAAT Technical and Scientific Series papers aimed at the technical community involved in research and development.
15. Notably, progress has been made in achieving concertation and consensus on principles for the selection of priority areas for PATTEC programme intervention. The principles guiding the consensus were oriented to find solutions for the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem and chances of success in the context of national and regional livestock-agricultural development, market requirements, opportunities and competitiveness. The relevance of the “area-wide integrated pest management (IPM)” concept was emphasized, and is now placed in the broader context of human well-being, poverty reduction and food security, with improved public health, enhanced mixed livestock-crop farming development and sustainable utilisation of natural resources guiding the process of strategy development. Fundamental to tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention is the causal relationship between poverty and development opportunities of tsetse-affected areas.
16. Area-wide Integrated Pest Management is therefore not primarily driven by a single technology, but brings together all tsetse and trypanosomiasis control tools, including the use of sterile flies, as appropriate, to combat and eliminate the diseases in livestock and humans. Further, criteria for the area-wide IPM approach consider and capitalise on agro-ecological production trends and forces, climatic variations, and incorporate the notion of autonomous tsetse suppression, as brought about by anthropogenic forces, like expanding and intensifying agriculture and market conditions. An accurate assessment of the cost-benefit is also among the criteria for selection of priority areas and implementation of area-wide IPM strategy. In this regard, participating countries are encouraged to apply agreed criteria for selection of priority areas which may be regarded as offering opportunities for further sustainable tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention.
17. Such conceptual analysis for the development of opportunities for the implementation of tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention was successfully concretized in the PAAT-PATTEC agreement on the Southern Rift Valley of Ethiopia and the “cotton belt” border area between Burkina Faso and Mali as the two areas for joint national and international action. In all situations, technical intervention tools are selected on the basis of need within an integrated campaign, and implemented in a phased manner.
18. Further FAO efforts in support of PATTEC were concretized in a joint AU, FAO, IAEA, WHO communiqué calling for united action against tsetse and trypanosomiasis in the context of the PAAT and PATTEC programmes, released on 7 June 2002, prior to the WFS:fyl. Additionally, a statement produced at the 8th meeting of the PAG Coordinators, in September 2002, in Nairobi (Kenya), welcomed the growing consensus on the PATTEC objectives and the need for intensified joint efforts on tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention. This PAAT Statement also reflects the consensus of the PAAT members - mandated international organizations, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARSs), Advanced Research Institutions (ARIs) and relevant international institutes and donors (e.g. IFAD)- on the policy, strategy and methodological approach for tsetse and trypanosomiasis interventions. The close collaboration between PAAT and PATTEC for jointly tackling tsetse and trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa is underpinned by the participation of PATTEC and members of the PATTEC Policy and Mobilization Committee in major international scientific and technical meetings convened by FAO through PAAT, i.e the 8th and the 9th meeting of the Panel of the PAAT Advisory Group Coordinators, held respectively in November 2002, in Nairobi (Kenya) and in September 2003, in Pretoria (South Africa), and the 7th meeting of the PAAT Programme Committee, in November 2002, in Geneva (Switzerland).
19. With regard to prioritization of normative activities, FAO convened an international workshop in July 2003, at FAO Headquarters, on “Moving from criteria for selection of priority areas to formulation of tsetse and trypanosomiasis field programme proposals: Ethiopia Southern Rift Valley – case study”. A similar workshop for the cotton-belt zone of the border area between Burkina Faso and Mali is scheduled for November 2003, in Burkina Faso.
20. FAO participated in relevant international discussion fora, including the 2nd and 3rd PATTEC Policy and Mobilization Committee meetings, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), August 2002 and February 2003, respectively, with a view to foster understanding, harmonization and cohesion of efforts to address the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem in the context of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD).
21. The consultative process initiated by FAO created a conducive environment for IAEA to formalize its adherence to PAAT in a letter transmitted by IAEA management to FAO in July 2002. Similarly, the AU General Secretariat has signalled that efforts are under way for the signature of the PAAT agreement.
22. FAO is preparing a regional project under its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) for the mobilisation of resources for “Capacity Building and Programme Development in support of PATTEC”. One of the objectives of the TCP project is to build the necessary regional and national capacities for integrated area-wide tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention schemes in agreed priority areas, i.e. Burkina Faso, Mali and Ethiopia. It provides support to core field teams and professionals in the PATTEC initiative for sub-regional and national level strategic planning of integrated pest and disease management.
23. The problem posed by trypanosomiasis for agricultural development of sub-Saharan Africa is heterogeneous and varies between and within countries and regions. In this regard, FAO - through PAAT - will continue its endeavour to develop and refine normative principles for tsetse and trypanosomiasis intervention strategies in support of the PATTEC initiative and to enhance synergies and complementarities among all concerned international agencies and governments.
24. The major result so far achieved in FAO’s support of PATTEC is a consensus in the relevant technical and policy community on a common tsetse and trypanosomiasis control approach in the context of SARD, as well as a consensus on focal areas for PATTEC’s field operations (Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia). This consensus was achieved in a series of PAAT mediated meetings supported with comprehensive technical and scientific information on vector, disease and their interactions with agriculture and the natural resources involved.
25. FAO welcomes the recommendation made by the First Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union, held on 1-2 July 2003 in Maputo (Mozambique), to African Governments to allocate adequate resources and to cooperate among themselves and with the African Union in the implementation of PATTEC. FAO also welcomes the recommendation of the Conference on the adoption of an integrated approach to tackle the agricultural and food production problems, and on the provision of every possible support to enhance animal resource production.
26. FAO invites the Conference to note its report on the enhanced, science-based integration of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis control approaches and programmes in sub-Saharan Africa as represented by PAAT and PATTEC and invites continued and renewed commitment of Member Nations to these programmes.