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Archivo de noticias, 2010

El progreso global del trabajo de la FAO contra la influenza aviar altamente patogénica

08 de marzo de 2010 – A final stage evaluation of the work embarked by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to control Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) finds that substantial progress has been made in the preparedness and response mechanisms directed at this disease. This progress includes improved planning and policy development, better communications and collaborations between national and international partners, greater capacity in the field services of veterinary authorities, greater laboratory capacity, and in many cases progressively increasing credibility of the national livestock services. In most cases, these improvements have also been accompanied by reductions in the numbers of outbreaks of HPAI in poultry, and the number of human cases occurring. The reported progress certainly owes much to the commendably high level of commitment, engagement and tenacity of FAO’s in-country teams and the support received from FAO units at headquarters and in the regions. It is difficult, however, to assign a direct cause and effect relationship between FAO’s contributions and the decreasing incidence of HPAI in most countries. The limited availability of good quality data and systems to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of FAO-supported activities, together with the low priority often given at country level to learning from experiences, have been major contributors to this lack of correlation ascertainment.

The advent of this disease and the associated responses to control it have propelled a change in the awareness of the importance of livestock enterprises to building national economies and to enhancing processes aimed at sustainable, pro-poor growth. The spread of outbreaks of HPAI across Asia and Africa has also raised awareness of the rapid growth of poultry industries that had been taking place during the years prior to their occurrence. This is particularly important in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria, all of which have the full range of poultry enterprises from backyard to industrial production systems. At the country level, effective and maturing relationships between FAO’s HPAI programmes and their government partners have surfaced. These relationships generally acknowledge FAO as the leading international partner on technical animal health issues related to HPAI preparedness and response, and draw on FAO’s in-country, regional and in some cases international advice.

Without a doubt, FAO has demonstrated the capacity to provide strong leadership and performance in supporting countries in avian influenza preparedness and response, and should continue to work in this area to ensure that the important gains made so far are not lost. In fact, these progressive gains must be further exploited in continued efforts to bring HPAI under control, and to extend the benefits of investments made into broader areas of improved animal health and human wellbeing. Lastly, the evaluation report enumerates five broad recommendations to minimize weaknesses detected and proactively move forward the previous and ongoing successes of FAO’s work against HPAI. These are:

  1. The development of a more integrated and multidisciplinary approach to international, regional and country level programmes;
  2. The development of a clear and cohesive interface between emergency responses to HPAI;
  3. The exploitation of HPAI capacity built to cater for broader preparedness and response programmes for other priority livestock diseases;
  4. Regular updating of strategies, approaches, and protocols on the basis of outcomes and impacts;
  5. Active engagement with privately-owned poultry sectors in affected countries.