Nairobi, Kenya

OIE Eastern Africa echoes IGAD and FAO appeal for heightened surveillance for Rift Valley Fever (RVF) as heavy rainfalls persist

Picture © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2019

 

 

 

Current and projected rainfall patterns accross the eastern Africa region may drastically increase vector populations (including Aedes species) and therefore the transmission of Rift Valley Fever (RVF), warn the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the leading regional economic community in the Horn of Africa.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) maintains a system for RVF forecasting based on precipitation and vegetation anomalies, among other environmental factors.

During the past months, in line with the weather predictions including the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) forecast, rainfall was persistently above-average in most of the countries in Eastern Africa. The latest FAO RVF forecasting in May 2020 (as presented below-see picture) confirms that the risk of RVF occurrence in the region remains high both in animals and humans in the next coming months, either due to favorable to environmental conditions and/or through animal movement, and calls for urgent readiness to any potential RVF outbreak, in particular through One Health coordination.

The current rainfall patterns and forecasts make it reasonable to expect a re-emergence of Rift Valley Fever in a number of our Member Countries in weeks to come. Close cooperation between Public Health, Animal Health and Environmental Health authorities, under the One Health concept, will be essential, even in the midst of a COVID-19 crisis

Dr Samuel Wakhusama, OIE Representative, Eastern Africa

OIE strongly supports the  recommendations of FAO and IGAD that :

  • National Veterinary Authorities are to increase awareness about the disease, assess the current situation and the specific risk to the country regarding RVF, identify the actions to support the country to increase its resilience to RVF outbreaks;
  • National Veterinary Authorities to get in touch with their public health counterparts to coordinate joint preparedness activities, especially in countries where there is no One-Health platform; to ensure a One Health and humanitarian approach to this threat.
Statement 15 May 2020

IGAD --- FAO

All pictures © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2019

More information

IRI

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

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CPC NOAA

Africa NMME Monthly Precipitation Anomalies I May2020, Initial Conditions

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ARS USDA

Rift Valley Fever Monitor

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