26 June 2018 - Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a newly emerged transboundary animal disease spreading throughout the Middle East, Turkey, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Introduction of LSD virus into naïve population causes considerable economic losses due to death of cattle, decrease of their productivity, the cost of vaccination campaigns, and its effects on trade. The risk of an imminent incursion into neighbouring still unaffected countries is very high, particularly for those sharing borders and (both formal and informal) trade routes. This is the case of Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. This is why a technical cooperation project titled “Strengthening the regional preparedness, prevention and response against lumpy skin disease in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (TCP/RER/3605)” was recently launched.
Since the disease is new to the region, field veterinarians, as well as other stakeholders (e.g. cattle farmers, abattoir workers, transporters, etc.) are not familiar with the disease, the situation in the region, the way it looks and spreads, its effects on cattle and trade, how to prevent and control it, or how to take samples in the event of a suspicion.
One of the first activities within the project was to organize a training-of-trainers (TOT) for Ukraine. This cascade training will eventually reach all field veterinarians in at-risk Oblasts (i.e. administrative units) in the eastern and western borders of Ukraine. The TOT program has the following steps. A similar process will follow in Belarus and Moldova.
- Training of core trainers: A 1.5-day training for core trainers from at-risk Oblasts in Ukraine. The 1.5 training of core trainers in Kiev followed a combination of theoretical lectures (1st day), plus a half day visit to a farm (to cover biosecurity on farm, personal biosecurity, sample collection and handling, epidemiological investigation, and on-farm application of control measures. Agenda and materials available here in English and Russian. Participants were provided with copies of the presentations, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and copies of the LSD field manual in Ukrainian (to be distributed to each Raion).
- Replicates of the trainings at Oblast level, taught by the core trainers to the heads of the Raions (i.e. administrative units within Oblasts).
- Replicates of the trainings at Raion level, taught by the Raion head veterinarians to all veterinarians within each Raion.