14 April 2016 - The 7th Regional FMD West Eurasia Roadmap Meeting was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, form 6th-8th, 2016. The regional meeting was convened under the umbrella of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Disease (GF-TADs) and organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in collaboration with the European Commission for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD). The Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan hosted the event which saw the participation of 12 of the 14 west Eurasia countries. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Iraq and Turkmenistan attended the meeting. The overall objectives of the meeting were to assess countries in their progress in FMD control along the progressive control pathway (PCP), share information on FMD virus circulation and identify countries’ need for implementing activities pertained to PCP stages for the coming years. This year, two countries namely; Armenia and Azerbaijan advanced to PCP stage 2 making it a total of six countries in this stage and leaving seven countries in stage 1, while one country already advanced to OIE status in 2015.
It was also noted that the recent emergence of FMD A/Ind/G VII in Iran, Turkey and Armenia, continues to pose a threat to the whole region due to animal movements across open borders and limited access to effective vaccine outside of Turkey and Iran. ''Regional coordination was emphasized as critical during the meeting to combat the spread of this virus,'' Said Dr. Samia Metwally, co-chair of the GF-TADs FMD working group. Additionally, Iran announced the current circulation of a new serotype O strain that is being characterized. Close monitoring this epidemiological situation and immediate notification to the neighbours and OIE are recommended, should the virus continue to spread.
The next roadmap meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 2017.
About Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a viral animal disease that affects cattle, buffaloes, pigs, sheep, goats and various wildlife species. Though the FMD had been largely controlled in North America and in some Pacific nations and Western Europe, it remains endemic across large swathes of Eurasia, the Middle East, Africa and a few countries in South America. Although FMD doesn’t directly affect human beings, its negative impacts livestock production and disruptive effect on regional and international trade in animals and animal products are a cause for concern. FMD in low and middle income countries results in production losses, reduced household income and food insecurity especially among subsistence farmers.
The FAO and OIE have partnered with FAO-based European Commission for the Control of Food-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD) and developed the Progressive Control Pathway for Food-and-Mouth Disease control (PCP-FMD) in 2008; a series of technical phases to guide countries of prevalence through a successful FMD control program. The PCP-FMD has also become a joint FAO-EuFMD-OIE guide for national programs that standardized carefully monitored steps.
With the view of easing the impacts of the FMD, FAO and OIE developed, in 2012, a 15-year global control strategy. The global FMD control strategy has since served as basis to a number of initiates including the establishment and expansion of an enabling environment to make FMD control feasible in affected countries. Out of 87 FMD-affected nations, at least 60 are currently engaged in the implementation of PCP-FMD with the goal of reducing or eliminating FMD virus circulation by 2027. While South America and South East Asia have made commendable progress, a number of countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa are yet to translate commitments into tangible results.