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Using the best science available to rein in Foot and Mouth Disease in South Asia

02 November 2011 - The FAO and the Indian Ministry of Agriculture’s Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) will convene a three-day conference, from 13-15 February 2012, to gauge the best technologies and techniques available to control Foot-and-Mouth Disease in South Asia.

The international conference, titled “Scientific Developments and Technical Challenges in the Progressive Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in South Asia,” will be held in New Delhi under the broad umbrella of the FAO/OIE Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs).

The conference will have a focus on vaccine technologies available to reduce the incidence of FMD in livestock in the South Asia region, especially in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have high numbers of susceptible livestock and where the disease is endemic.

The challenges of the progressive control of FMD in regions with hundreds of millions of susceptible animals is enormous, and control by vaccination alone poses questions regarding quality of vaccines and vaccination programmes and the impacts that could be achieved with vaccines of different quality and duration of protection. A long term Roadmap for FMD control in the region will be discussed, with a focus on performance of control programmes and optimisation of scrace resources for greatest impact.

The conference aims to bring together the leading FMD research institutions, the FAO Reference Centres, OIE Reference Laboratories, and a range of technical and scientific experts on FMD from South Asia, East Asia, and the West Eurasian epidemiological sub-regions. Each of the sub-regions are endemic with the FMD serotypes O, A and Asia-1, and have active research and development programs.

Progress of long term FMD control Roadmaps in West Eurasia and in South-East Asia will be shared, with emphasis on the technical lessons leanrt from applying the Progressive Control Pathway for FMD (PCP-FMD) as a tool for measuring national and regional progress.

This Conference will review developments in the field of FMD vaccines and vaccination programmes, diagnostics, their costs, the science of progressive control (managing risks via policy making), to identify priorities for investments that would have greatest impact for regional, and perhaps global control efforts. These findings are to be presented at the FAO/OIE Global Conference on FMD Control in mid-2012.

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