Tunis, Tunisia

Harmonisation of the FMD vaccination strategy in North Africa

Dr Rachid Bouguedour (OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa)

 

 

Under the context of REMESA (REseau MEditerranéen de Santé Animale), the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for North Africa organised a workshop the harmonisation of the FMD vaccination strategy in North Africa.

This workshop follows the recommendations of the 11th meeting of the Joint Permanent Committee (JPC) of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network (REMESA) was held in Algiers (Algeria) on 24-25 November 2015. Indeed, it was stressed at the meeting the importance of establishing a regional vaccine bank for FMD in accordance with the resolution adopted by the CPC REMESA on 3-4 November 2014 in Tunis (Tunisia) and it was underlined that the prerequisite for this bank to be beneficial is to have a harmonized vaccination strategy between countries.

Group picture.

 

The meeting was attended by the three CVOs of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as well as by a delegation from Mauritania leaded by the Deputy CVO. Libya could not attend the meeting.

Dr Rachid Bouguedour (OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa)
During this workshop, it was highlighted that vaccination remains an essential tool for preventing and controlling FMD and it should be based on an appropriated evaluation of the risk in North Africa leading to the selection of suitable vaccine strains, the definition of the target species, and the implementation of on a harmonized programme of vaccination followed by a post-vaccination monitoring programme.

After a presentation of the epidemiological situation of FMD in each country, the representatives of the Veterinary Services of the four North African countries (Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) highlighted the control measures implemented, including the vaccination programme. The international experts invited to participate in this workshop – representatives of EuFMD and OIE FMD Reference Laboratories (The Pirbright Institute, ANSES, IZSLER) – and the other participants, after having discussed the available information, agreed on recommendations aiming to implement harmonised and feasible vaccination and surveillance programmes for FMD based on the risk that will be presented at the next REMESA meeting and will underlie the implementation of an OIE vaccine bank for FMD for the sub-region.

The significant amount of data provided during the meeting and the related discussion between the CVOs and the experts highlighted that this important topic should be discussed again in the second semester of 2016. However, significant results were obtained from this workshop and clear steps were envisaged for the near future. These steps were considered crucial before reaching an agreed vaccination strategy in the region.

To this end, the following steps have been announced:

  • a guideline outlining all the elements to be taken in consideration to elaborate a national vaccination programme will be developed between the experts and the concerned countries;
  • an evaluation of the risk in North Africa. EuFMD and OIE Reference Laboratories would provide all the necessary support;
  • research in the field should be also undertaken in the near future to understand the role of the small ruminants in the transmission of the disease.

It is planned to organise an additional workshop during the second semester of 2016 to consolidate (at regional level) all the information derived from the above mentioned actions to allow these countries to design an appropriate national vaccination programme based on the risk and the principles defined in the guideline.

Dr Donald King (Head of the OIE FMD Reference Laboratory – The Pirbright Institute).

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