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Roadmap meeting for eradication of PPR in the SAARC Region kicked off in Kathmandu

Minister Manavi inaugurating the joint opening session. Also seen in the picture are Somsak Pipopinyo, Eran Raizman and Dr MJH Jabed.
11/04/2016


Minister for Livestock Development Shanta Manavi inaugurated FAO-OIE peste des petits ruminants (PPR),Roadmap Meeting for South Asia and 5th SAARC Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) meeting in Kathmandu today. 

Delivering her inaugural address the Minister Manavi said that there is an urgent need of building interpersonal linkages, partnership, coordination and collaboration amongst the member states, development partners and stakeholders in addressing priority highly pathogenic and transboundary Animal Diseases in South Asia.

Stating that the multiple challenges and problems related to food insecurity in SAARC countries, she said, “There is no option other than making our people secure of food and nutrition, assure their income, quality education for their children and provide them facilities and amenities of 21 century.”
Stressing on the need of Nepal becoming self-reliant on meat and dairy products, she said, “Livestock sector can contribute on achieving food security in the country.”

Dr Vijay Kant Jha, Officiating Secretary at the Ministry of Livestock Development expressed happiness over hosting the crucial meetings in Nepal and hoped that the meetings will be successfully concluded with useful recommendation to address the challenges in SAARC countries related to PPR.

Speaking on the occasion, Somsak Pipoppinyo, FAO Representative in Nepal, said that the high impact Transboundary Animal Disease are causing increasing concern in SAARC countries due to their livelihood and economic impacts as well as continued threat to human health due to zoonotic nature of some.

The FAO Representative Somsak said, “About 300 million ruminants are either infected or at high risk of infection from PPR in SAARC region.” 

He hoped that the CVOs meeting will provide an unique opportunity to the SAARC Member States to address at the highest level all important high impact, Zoonotic and Transboundary Animal Diseases as well as other issues including the ever-increasing threat of emergence of Anti-Microbial Resistance due to massive abuse of anti-microbials in the farm sector.
Dr Keshav Prasad Premy, the Director General of the Department of the Livestock Services, Dr Eran Raizman Head of EMPRESS and Dr MJH Jabed, Director of Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security at the SAARC Secretariat also addressed the joint opening session. 

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in collaboration with the government of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire organised in Abidjan from 31 March to 2 April, 2015, an International Conference for the Control and Eradication of PPR. The, conference, which  gathered experts, scientists, Ministers, directors of veterinary services, directors of veterinary diagnostic laboratories from affected and at risk countries, technical and financial development partners led to the adoption of the global strategy for the control and eradication of PPR (GCES).

One of the primary activities of the strategy is the organization of regional roadmaps meetings to engage Regional Economic Communities to take ownership of the GCES and countries to work in a harmonized and synchronized way in their fight against the disease. Indeed, one of the Abidjan Conference recommendations invites all countries to attend these regional meetings to ensure continuous assessment and monitoring of the PPR situation and harmonize worldwide the implementation of the global strategy. This meeting is jointly organized with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Small ruminants, sheep and goats, represent a significant part of the world livestock sector, particularly among developing countries where they have an essential role in livelihood and food security.  Thus, in these countries small ruminants have a direct impact on the country economy and wellbeing of the entire population. SAARC countries represent 40,5% of the global 2,1 billion small ruminant population.

One of the main factors limiting sustainable and flourishing small ruminant production is the presence of infectious diseases such as peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a disease that causes high morbidity and mortality among susceptible animals.  In infected countries where the disease is endemic, PPR is a serious threat to small ruminant production and the development of the whole livestock value chain, and therefore affect livelihoods and food security far beyond the people who own and raise sheep and goats. It is therefore why the disease must be controlled and eventually eradicated.

The 2-day meeting has been organized from 11-12 April 2016 with back to back with the Chief Veterinary Officers network meeting from 13-14 April, 2016.