The first OIE laboratory twinning agreement to have been initiated on the African continent, approved in April 2008, was officially closed on September 7th in Gaborone, Botswana. The twinning agreement between the Botswana National Veterinary Laboratory (BNVL) in Gaborone on the one hand and the OIE Reference Laboratory on Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise ‘G. Caporale’ in Teramo (Italy) on the other hand, led to fruitful exchanges of experts and expertise on the diagnosis of CBPP over the past two years.
Professor Vincenzo Caporale on visit in Botswana. Picture © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2010
The closing meeting was attended by staff from both the “parent” and the “candidate” laboratories, staff from national reference laboratories in Namibia (Windhoek), South Africa (Potchefstroom) and Zambia (Lusaka), staff from the Botswana veterinary services and OIE representatives. The guest of honour was Professor Vincenzo Caporale, Director of the aforementioned Reference Laboratory in Teramo and President of the OIE Biological Standards Commission since May 2009. Prof. Caporale insisted that the end of the twinning agreement does not mean the end of the relationship between the two institutions, but the start of a longstanding cooperative effort to assist in the reliable diagnosis of CBPP in southern Africa and beyond. The BNVL is expected to apply for recognition as OIE Reference Laboratory for CBPP in the foreseeable future, with Dr. (Ms) C. Marobela – Raborokgwe as likely designated expert.
All pictures © P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2010