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ASF Emergency Preparedness Mission to Myanmar

FAO presents an African Swine Fever Detection and Diagnosis Manual to senior Government officials of Myanmar during the African swine fever training session for Myanmar field veterinarians.
08/03/2019

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Emergency Management Centre for Animal Health (EMC-AH) launched a mission this week in Myanmar to heighten preparedness for African swine fever. The mission was conducted in partnership with the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, FAO Myanmar, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Myanmar Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD). FAO EMC-AH quickly deployed a team at the request of the Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) to strengthen the country's preparedness, prevention and detection measures. The mission team was composed of international experts, Drs Lee Myers of the EMC-AH, who served as team leader, Daniel Beltran-Alcrudo, David Williams and Junxia Song, with support from FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) consultants, Drs Ohn Kyaw, Maung Maung Kyin and David Hadrill, and LBVD representative Sein Lwin. The team worked closely throughout the week with LBVD to provide recommendations on the mitigation of risks of ASF entry and spread, strengthening policy, sanitary measures and the capacity of the veterinary diagnostic laboratory, in addition to training field veterinarians.

With recently reported outbreaks of ASF in China, Mongolia and Viet Nam, Myanmar is on alert due to the high risk of ASF introduction. The mission therefore served to bring together experts in ASF, emergency management, veterinary laboratory diagnostics, epidemiology in the region, and others. During the week the team travelled to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw to assess the on-the-ground situation in the field, and evaluate the capacity of the laboratories. The team received valuable information about the value chain and risks from meetings with LBVD officials in the high risk border areas. 

Throughout the week, the team trained some 80 veterinarians, animal health workers and representatives of the private sector in ASF preparedness. Training consisted of lessons learned from previous ASF outbreaks and actions Myanmar can take now during the alert phase of the disease.  Topics were delivered through lectures and group work, and included ASF situation in the region, border controls, farm biosecurity best practices, clinical signs of the disease, surveillance, sample collection, and field investigation.

The team presented FAO ASF Detection and Diagnosis manuals (see link below) to the Permanent Secretary of MoALI, Director General of LBVD and high-level Myanmar Government officials during an ASF training session. This was an excellent opportunity to emphasize the importance of protecting animal health, livelihoods and food security and to offer FAO's extended support to the Myanmar government in enhancing their ASF preparedness efforts.

The EMC-AH is grateful to the Government of Australia for the financial support of this important ASF preparedness mission.

 

Useful resources and publications

Latest situation updates on ASF in Asia:

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/ASF/situation_update.html

FAO Myanmar ASF news:

http://www.fao.org/myanmar/news/detail-events/en/c/1177347/

FAO African swine fever: Detection and Diagnosis manual:

http://www.fao.org/3/a-i7228e.pdf

FAO Good Emergency Management Practice: The Essentials (GEMP) manual:

http://www.fao.org/3/a-ba0137e.pdf