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ECTAD: protecting people and animals from disease threats

The Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD)

The Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) plans and delivers veterinary assistance to FAO member countries responding to the threat of transboundary animal health crises.

The link between humans, animals and the surrounding environment is particularly close in developing regions. Farming communities raise animals that provide transport, draught power, fuel and clothing, as well as food. Due to the broad reliance on animals, zoonotic and non-zoonotic animal diseases can have even wider devastating impacts.

The most damaging outbreaks of high impact disease in recent decades have had an animal source. Diseases that jump from animals to humans (zoonoses) are on the rise and can spread in a matter of hours or days. Recent epidemics and pandemics including Ebola, avian influenza and Middle East respiratory syndrome, have led to massive losses of life and livelihoods and had a significant economic impact.

Building capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats

ECTAD teams facilitate the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) programmes, funded by the United States Agency for International Development. These two key programmes build animal health capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats in 31 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Through the GHSA and EPT programmes FAO supports capacity development and technology transfer to reduce the impact of zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases. By building capacity to forecast, prevent, detect and respond to disease emergence, FAO is helping to reduce the risk of national, regional and global disease spread.

Global Health Security Agenda programme

The GHSA programme develops national capacity to prevent zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases while quickly and effectively detecting and controlling diseases when they do emerge. FAO is part of the GHSA membership of over 60 partners and supports implementation of five action packages:

Emerging Pandemic Threats programme

The EPT programme improves national capacity to pre-empt the emergence and re-emergence of infectious zoonotic diseases through four projects:

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