Entebbe, Uganda

Pirbright Institute conducts a training course on animal sample management in Uganda.

The Institute for Animal Health Pirbright (IAH) concluded a three day training course with the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC).  This training was conducted under the auspices of the OIE Twinning of Laboratories Program (Supplementary OIE Twinning Special Project) between the NADDEC (Uganda) and IAH (United Kingdom).

 

Dr Wesonga Wanderema Director Animal Resources – Assistant Commissioner Veterinary Inspection and Regulations handing certificates to participants during the closing ceremony.
Picture © N. Mapitse (oie) 2012

 

In his opening remarks, in the presence of amongst the 113 national veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals, trainers from the OIE Reference Laboratory IAH Drs Carrie Batten and Eeva Tuppurainen and the OIE Sub Regional Representative for southern Africa and EPT IDENTIFY Project Regional Focal Point Dr Neo Mapitse, the Assistant Commissioner Disease Control Dr Chris Rutebarika speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of MAAIF regional ensured support to the activities and thanked the OIE for funding the Twinning Project. The training was also extended to other collaborating partners in the livestock industry such as the National Livestock Research Institute (NaLIRRI).

The training program was accomplished through presentations followed by practical sampling exercises on different animal species including wildlife, visit to various laboratories at NADDEC and display stands. Day 1 focused on strategies for efficient sample collection, submission and diagnosis in Uganda and laid the foundation with presentations on animal health status in Uganda which highlighted the critical diseases and the challenges to disease control faced by MAAIF. A presentation from the OIE on its activities to improve the quality of the national veterinary services including capacity building was delivered with some supporting documents.

Dr Batten outlined the role of IAH in provision of laboratory referral services and other roles as the OIE Reference Laboratory.  In conjunction with Dr Eeva Tuppurainen the participants were trained on general overview, preferred types of samples, handling, shipment, storage and data collection of key diseases being pursued under the improvement to diagnostic capacity building for the twinning project. These were capripox, bluetongue, LSD and PPR.  This was augmented by presentations from NADDEC staff on the types of tests available, laboratory quality management systems, laboratory information management systems, biosecurity and biocontainment. Dr N. K Carolyn briefed the participants on the status of the serum bank. There have been improvements to the power back up systems and freezers but work still has to continue to improve documentation of existing samples. The national coordinator for the Twinning Project Dr Chrisostom Ayebazibwe outlined the activities achieved under the project including participation in proficiency testing and improvements to the biosecurity of the laboratory.

The practical session addressed and demonstrated types of samples collected from live animals including wildlife, preservation, data collection and types of containers approved for shipment from field services to NADDEC and from NADDEC to IAH. The emphasis was to improve quality and safe transport of samples so as to improve diagnostic capacity.

The display table proved to be very popular with the participants as it allowed more interaction not only regarding the training but other services or activities offered such as by the OIE. Visits to the various laboratories allowed the field veterinarians and veterinary para professionals to acquaint themselves with types of tests and time required before the results may be available.

 

In his closing remarks Dr Wesonga Wanderema outlined briefly the new strategy being developed for the Veterinary Services to propel the industry forward using meat and milk as primary commodities. NADDEC will become an important pillar for the success of this strategy and hence its support is ensured. Specimen sampling kits, personal protective equipment, ice packs and cool boxes were distributed to all the attending districts.

 

Tracheal swab. Sample collection in avian species. Picture © N. Mapitse (oie) 2012

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