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Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) - Egypt

Cairo, Egypt - The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR), and the Food and...
Cairo, Egypt - Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) of the Food and Agriculture...
Alex, Egypt - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration...
Alex, Egypt - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)...

ECTAD – Egypt supporting on controling animal disease

FAO-Egypt office through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) has built strong and enduring ties with Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reform (MoALR) through the General Organization for veterinary Services GOVS. Since 2006, ECTAD provided diverse institutional capacity to strengthen the Livestock Early Warning System (Investigation & Response, epidemio-surveillance and Laboratory diagnostic capacities) both at central and fields levels.

Background

Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza (HPAI) / H5N1 - Egypt reported the first outbreak of HPAI on 17 February 2006, making it second country in Africa (after Nigeria) to report the introduction of the disease. In response to HPAI outbreaks, FAO has established AI regional centers and a country office in the Near East region, to support surveillance and disease-control efforts in infected countries and assist non-infected countries in reducing the likelihood of disease introduction and in preparing a rapid and effective response if the disease is detected:

  • Regional Animal Health Centre for North Africa established in May 2007 in Tunis, hosted by the FAO Sub-regional Representation, includes the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia);
  • Regional Animal Health Centre for the Middle East, located in Lebanon established in June 2007 to support the Animal Health Services in the countries and territories under the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza Strip), and the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen); and
  • Emergency Centre for Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in June 2007 to assist the Egyptian Government in its effort for the detecting and controlling highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) through various country/ regional/inter-regional/global projects in collaboration with the Egypt’s General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS) and National Laboratory for Quality Poultry Production (NLQP). 

Some of the key intervention areas include:

  • Support to the district-levels epidemiological networks in all Egyptian governorates;
  • Development and sustained implementation of value-chain and risk-based surveillance strategies (A/H5N1, A/H7N9, A/H9N2). FAO-ECTAD Egypt continues to provide technical and financial assistances to support the implementation of surveillances in Egypt;
  • Laboratory animal health diagnostic capacity has been considerably enhanced through in country and overseas training, provision of equipment, essential consumables and reagents;
  • Diverse technical assistances and advices were provided to GOVS to develop sound animal (mainly poultry) disease control strategies and related instruments. For instance, the “Animal health and livelihood Sustainability Strategy”, a component of the integrated national Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) plans, which reflects the need for longer term risk reduction measure to address endemic A/H5N1 HPAI in Egypt, was developed and approved by MoALR;
  • The “Four-way Linking Taskforce” was established and operationalized. It involves key “One Health” stakeholders from animal (MoALR) and public health (MoHP);
  • FAO promoted functional public-private partnerships and livelihoods in both technical and policy related interventions;
  • Emergency assistances were provided to contain outbreaks of high-impact diseases (e.g. foot-and-mouth disease).

In the face of increasing concerns of emerging pandemic threats (e.g. MERS-CoV, Ebola, endemic HPAI, etc), FAO-ECTAD Egypt, in close consultation with concerned departments in MoALR and other relevant partners, envisaged the implementation of a comprehensive program referred to as EPT-2 (emerging pandemic threat), which consolidate previous FAO/USAID investments into pandemic preparedness and emerging animal diseases focusing on selected strategic areas. The EPT-2 program aims at mitigating the impact of novel ‘high consequence pathogens’ from animals. These interventions are in line with the current government policies and strategies and will be integrated into the on-going development actions to ensure the sustainability of the process beyond the project duration.