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National "cascade training" course on FMD now supported by Italy

The EuFMD has been running foot-and-mouth disease Real Time Training (RTT) courses since 2009. Over 700 vets from 50 countries in the field in Turkey, Kenya and Nepal have been trained and all have gone home with a much greater understanding of the issues involved in FMD control in both free countries and those endemic with FMD.

The real time training courses involve hands-on practical field training on the investigation of a suspect FMD outbreak, FMD clinical and laboratory diagnosis, lesion ageing and correct sampling for laboratory procedures, FMD field epidemiology and local surveillance to assess spread and managing biosecurity operations.

It is crucial that all this acquired experience does not remain only for those who have had the opportunity to attend these courses, but that RTT participants effectively pass on the knowledge to other colleagues when they return home.

EuFMD promotes and supports cascade training on FMD developed at national level and it is a formal requirement of our RTT that all participants pass on their knowledge upon their return.

Many of these trainees send feedback to the EuFMD on the implementation of their cascade training, and if a national, regional or local approach has been taken. There are several different good examples, among which the Italian example.

Preparation of the material

EuFMD supported the Italian staff responsible for developing the training, by providing the design of the training programme, presentations, exercises, videos and other training material that was translated into Italian. These materials can easily be adapted to other countries that are willing to organize an FMD training course to improve the preparedness of their veterinarians.

The different phases

The Italian national cascade training course on FMD is organized in three different phases.
The first phase was delivered by the Italian Ministry of Health and the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna (IZSLER). This first part of the training included courses at national level, in Rome and in Brescia.
The second phase of the training has already started and is composed by courses at regional level, ten in total, run by the official veterinarians who have been trained in Rome or Brescia, and who will now use the same course format and training material to deliver training in the regions.

What is coming next?

A third phase of the national cascade training course on FMD would be to train the private veterinarians and stakeholders. The EuFMD and representatives from the Italian Ministry of Health have discussed possibilities to do so that are not costly. One probable option is using the EuFMD e-learning platform as a way to reach an extended number of trainees.
The Italian national cascade training course on FMD shows the awareness of the Italian veterinary authorities on how important is to have well prepared veterinary services  in order to detect and control an FMD incursion and it is also a great example of how to maximize the outputs of EuFMD training courses.