The 10th International SEARG Conference (Southern and Eastern Africa Rabies Group), held in Maputo from 25 – 28 January, 2011 started off with the official opening by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture of Mozambique, Mr José Pacheco on the evening of 24th January. The Delegate of Mozambique to the OIE, Dr Florencia M. Cipriano also attended the occasion.
Participants that attended the conference from the public sector included epidemiologists, laboratory diagnosticians, researchers, designated experts from five of the six Rabies OIE Reference Laboratories, while the preivate sector was represented by vaccine manufacturers.
International organisations were also represented. The OIE invited 10 participants of which 8 were veterinarians involved with rabies diagnostics from the central veterinary laboratories of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda under the auspices of the IDENTIFY Project.
This project aims to build laboratory diagnostic capacity in the Congo Basin. The participating countries shared their experiences and benefited from numerous presentations and discussions on rabies projects and programs worldwide. These included rabies control in both domestic and wild animals, human rabies, immunizations, diagnostic tools, work of other organisations including reference laboratories. A presentation on initiatives for rabies control by international organisations included the OIE recommendations for stray dogs population control. A proposal on the establishment of a rabies sub network of veterinary laboratories within the framework of RESOLAB that will benefit the Congo Basin countries was also presented.
Dr Sylvain P. Enkoro from Gabon responding to questions. Seated next to him, Dr Prosper Kabambi Ngabu from DRC. Picture (c) Neo J. Mapitse (oie) 2011.