Wildlife focal points from Africa and the Middle East converge in Kasane, Botswana for a Regional Training Workshop (5th Cycle)

Dr Belen Otero from the OIE World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department, speaking on WAHIS-Wild.

Since 2010, there have been four (4) training courses for focal points for wildlife for both the African and Middle East regions; therefore the current training was the fifth (i.e. 5th Cycle).

The overall objective of the training workshop was to provide participants with knowledge on the rights, commitment and responsibilities of the OIE National Focal Points in the standard-setting process and compliance with the international standards. It also provided participants with information on wildlife and the specific tasks of National Focal Points in this area.

For the first time the workshop included honeybees as a wildlife species.

There was a practical session on communication under diseases emergency situations. In particular, the session discussed the key components required to build and maintain partner and experts’ networks to develop effective data collection and curation of wildlife health information, and finally to utilise tools for managing and disseminating wildlife health information. The workshop had a significant component of hands-on training with a special session focusing on the wildlife-specific application of OIE’s World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), e.g. the OIE on-line reporting system named WAHIS and WAHIS-Wild Interface.

This training workshop was well appreciated by participants, resource persons and the host country, as it touched on a very important of wildlife/biodiversity. The chosen setting of Kasane town in the heartland of Botswana wildlife was appropriate, as participants were also able to physically see and appreciate wildlife in their natural setting. The relatively plentiful hands-on practical exercise and the wealth of information from resource persons were some of the strengths of the training. Furthermore, the participants showed a high level of interest in the workshop topics and they were eager to discuss how submission of voluntary reports could be improved. 

Group photograph.

The Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Safety of Botswana, Hon. Patrick Pule Ralotsia, officially opening the workshop. Picture (c) K. Mpedi (oie) 2018.

 

The workshop was officially opened by the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Safety of Botswana, Hon Patrick Pule Ralotsia. He was accompanied by Dr John Moreki, Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) and Dr Lethogile Modisa – Director of Veterinary Services (OIE Delegate) for Botswana. He spoke on the importance of animal diseases and the role of wildlife in this regard, especially in his country and the region, where wildlife is important for the tourism industry as well.

All pictures © Gaborone Office (oie) 2018, unless mentioned otherwise

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