FAO in Mozambique

FAO in action to prevent animal disease epidemics in Mozambique

Group photo of the first cohort of EMA-i trainers in Mozambique @FAO/Zuleca Cassamo

05 December 2022, BILENE – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) introduces the Event Mobile Application (EMA-i), an Android application developed by FAO for real-time data collection and disease reporting, for the first time in Mozambique to strengthen the surveillance and early warning capacities of the veterinary field officers for real-time reporting of animal and zoonotic diseases.

With this purpose, FAO's Emergency Center for Transboundary Diseases (ECTAD), with support of an expert from FAO headquarters , conduct a Training of Trainers workshop involving 26 veterinarians and epidemiologists from the field and private vets representatives from the provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane from 5 to 9 December 2022. In 2023, EMA-i will be cascaded in other provinces to establish a community of practice composed of animal health professionals and other interested parties using EMA-i for real time disease reporting. This training is jointly organized with the Ministry of Agriculture and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The workshop started today, with the opening remarks of FAO Representative in Mozambique, Hernani Coelho da Silva (represented by ECTAD country team leader, Timothy Woma), who put the tool in plain words: "Using smartphones, georeferenced information on animal diseases is collected from the field and entered into the EMA-i app. This generates a report that is sent in real time to FAO's Global Animal Disease Information System (EMPRES-i) database, where the information is safely stored and used by policy makers for prompt response toward prevention and spread of the reported event, for animal disease mobile reporting."

Immediate reporting of outbreaks via an online system

Despite all the positive efforts and lessons learnt following avian influenza or foot-and-mouth outbreaks in 2022, the current status quo is that Mozambique is vulnerable to outbreaks and the systems are still weak in terms of surveillance, preparedness and laboratory confirmation.

The Event Mobile Application (EMA-i) is an Android application for early warning and real-time data collection and disease notification which provides immediate notification of outbreaks via an online system. The reports generated after the information from the field has been sent are also accessible through graphs and maps component of EMA-i, which allow users to visualize epidemiological data of a disease event from the field with the use of EMA-i mobile application on their smartphones.

Using the application will significantly increase number of reports received from the field veterinarians. Moreover, it will improve interconnectedness of epidemiological information sharing among contiguous districts, provinces and national government.

After the course, the 26 participants will be able to describe the method of EMA-i/EMPRES-i implementation at country level, describe the added value of the use of EMA-i, effectively use EMA-i app for disease reporting, explain reporting workflow and will cascade the training on EMA-i/EMPRES-I to other provinces in 2023.