Gambia, Senegal Officials Meet On Strategies Against Contagious Disease

Janjangbureh — Officials of The departments of Veterinary Services of the Gambia and Senegal recently convened a three-day consultation meeting in Janjangbureh, Central River Region (CRR), designed among other things to establish a concerted strategy of surveillance and control of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP).

The initiative that was funded by the United States Agency for International Development is part of the stakeholders' response to the animal health emergency situation currently declared by the government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the governor of the region, Ganyie Touray, underscored the significance of the consultation meeting, noting that it wouldhelp the participants to develop a concerted strategy for monitoring and control of CBPP. He told the meeting that there is resurgence of cattle disease in The Gambia after 41 years of its absence. The disease, which he said was confirmed in Niamina Dankunku in the region, is characterised by high mortality. He commended the USAID for their humanitarian gesture in funding such an important forum.

The director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Kebba Daffeh affirmed that the meeting aimed to develop a concerted strategy for monitoring and control of CBPP, strengthening communication between the two veterinary services, and developing cooperation between the two veterinary laboratories. He further informed that the consultation meeting included plenary sessions and a field visit of the infected herds.

Dr Daffeh noted that the disease was detected in August 2012 and notified to listed disease in September. Out of a total of 18 cases, he said, 12 deaths were recorded in Niamina Dankunku and that the disease was first suspected on the basis of the clinical signs and the lesions seen at post-mortem examination.

The USAID-USA agricultural specialist in Senegal, Cheikh Sadibou Fall, for his part, said recently a mission of the Crisis Management Centre (CMC) from the Food and Agriculture Organisation headquartered in Rome visited the Central and Upper River regions where outbreaks of CBPP were recorded. He opined that the field visits had allowed the mission to observe the dramatic evolution of the disease with mortality rates announced in the range of 40-50%.

Fall disclosed that the mission among other things recommended for the authorities to conduct epidemiology investigations to determine the extent of the disease in the country, to start as soon as possible a programme of massive vaccination of the cattle, and organise public awareness campaign.

The director of Veterinary Services in Senegal, Mbargu Lo, described the disease as a threat to the two countries and that it can only be controlled through a collaborative framework.

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