Somalia Gets Ready to Unveil Community Based Animal Disease Reporting System

Central South Somalia and Somaliland poised to unveiling a community level disease reporting system before the current year runs out.

In a workshop, held on the 8th and 9th August 2015, in Hargeisa, Somaliland livestock farmers, field veterinarians, private veterinary practitioners, and universities have unanimously agreed to launch the system in Central Somalia and Somaliland in the coming October and November, respectively.

The workshop, convened by AU-IBAR/SMP-AH Project, in cooperation with IGAD/ICPALD, provided the forum for all relevant stakeholders to find a way for developing and improving community-based animal disease reporting system in Somaliland and Central South Somalia as a means to improve passive surveillance and disease reporting. Over forty relevant participants from Awdal, Beledweywe, Dollow, Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Saaxil, Sabawanaag, Salahley and Salal attended the workshop.

In opening the workshop, Dr Jama Mohamed Odowa, Director General of the Ministry of Livestock underscored the fact that livestock has immense contribution to the economies of Somaliland and hence there is a need for effective delivery of animal health services across the country. To this effect, he reiterated, participants from Somaliland and Central South Somalia needed to join hands to come up with a workable strategy to have the community-based animal disease reporting system implemented in all regions.

Emphasising the significance of a national animal disease reporting system, Dr Joseph Magona, on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, remarked that creating a community-based disease reporting system would enable countries establish a two-way information flow between information provider and the central data collection and analysis system. Such a practice would eventually lead countries to establish a strong link with the continental and global disease reporting systems, called ARIS and WAHID, which are being operated by AU-IBAR and OIE, respectively. By doing so, he noted, countries would be in a better position to prevent and control animal diseases, which have a direct impact on regional and international trades, as well as on the livelihoods income of the grassroots, whose life is heavily dependent on livestock.

Dr Osman Mohamed Ali, a representative of the Government of Somalia in Mogadishu, has also remarked that the workshop would be an important venue for livestock professionals and communities to embark on developing and implementing a community-based animal disease reporting system, which has a far-reaching consequence in regional and international trade.

Participants recognized the incredible worked done by Standards Methods and Procedures in Animal Health project implemented by AU-IBAR in partnership with IGAD with financial support from USAID for providing syndromic manuals and for supporting improvement of disease reporting.