FAO in China

ECTAD China programme

The Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is FAO’s corporate centre for the planning and delivery of veterinary assistance to FAO member countries responding to the threat of transboundary animal health crises.

ECTAD China’s mandate is to support the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in expanding the capacities of national and local partners in dealing with various animal disease emergencies, while extending its technical assistance to address TADs and Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) in Mongolia, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) China Office is the focal point and knowledge hub on Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) within the FAO and the United Nations (UN) in China.

With funds from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), technical support from FAO Headquarters (HQs) and the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP), the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) project has made good progress towards achieving the expected outputs. ECTAD China has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture of China and jointly planned and implemented a series of activities at various levels.

These have included in-depth investigation and analysis of disease and risk factors, establishing relationships with national and international institutions, encouraging collaboration at animal-human-wildlife interfaces, working with neighboring countries to address the HPAI risks, and developing processes for two-way exchange of information among the countries. In 2010/11 the project established a comprehensive Field Epidemiology Training Programme for Veterinarians (FETPV) to build veterinary epidemiology capacity and in this way fill a critical gap for animal health in China.

China FETPV has now become a pivotal activity of the USAID-funded HPAI programme in the country, and is recognized by senior officials from both the central and provincial governments as a significant contribution by FAO. Beyond the original objective of creating a critical mass of skilled veterinary field epidemiologists, China FETPV also aims at long term sustainability and strengthening partnerships between national, provincial and international institutions and at fostering greater synergy and collaboration among them.

With increased commitment of finance and human resources from national partners, as well as co-funding of aligned activities from in-country resource partners, several new initiatives were carried out during 2013-2014. Engagement of the network in FAO projects, Veterinary Epidemiology Training for Senior Executives (FETPV-E), training of Chinese trainers and training in epidemiology for Chinese academics were conducted under the China FETPV framework.

Work in China has been enhanced by a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] on Prevention and Control of TADs and EIDs between the Veterinary Bureau of China MoA and the Animal Health and Production Division of FAO. This has been facilitated by two missions (2012 and 2014) by the Director-General of the Veterinary Bureau and his senior colleagues to Rome.

FAO China ECTAD’s endeavors to assist national partners to respond to H7N9 emergencies in 2013 and 2014 involved providing technical advice, in-depth analysis, and participation in a joint epidemiological investigation. This has been well recognized by Chinese authorities and has consolidated the close relationship between FAO and the GoC to address existing and incoming diseases and emergencies. Considering that China is one of the main poultry production areas in Asia and the existence of formal and informal trade along the border with neighboring countries, FAO has facilitated the cross-border dialogue between China, Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Myanmar on possible collaboration on HPAI control.

Building on the progress made and the spirit of cooperation with the GoC, key activities are being planned for the next phase of the project. This includes assisting national and provincial partners, research institutes and universities to develop plans for capacity development, , conducting in-depth longitudinal studies along the market chain to better understand risk factors for of H5N1, H5Nx and H7N9 influenzas, promoting improved biosecurity and one health approaches and approaches. With continued support from national and international partners, the project scope, impact and visibility will be further strengthened.