9th Steering Committee Meeting, La Havana, Cuba

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Lun, 05/05/2014 - 22:15 - Mar, 05/06/2014 - 22:15
La Havana, Cuba

The Caribbean Animal Health Network, is organizing its 9th Steering Committee meeting on 5th and 6th May in Havana. Following the meeting, the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the steering committee will, for the first time, attend the Second International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance (ICAHS).

This Conference is organized in Cuba by the Centro Nacional de Sanidad Agropuecuaria (CENSA), in collaboration with an international group of volunteer surveillance researchers and professionals. Approximately 150 participants from thirty countries, including specialists in epidemiological surveillance, animal health researchers, chief veterinary officers (CVO) and representatives from international animal and public health organizations* will be in Havana on 7-9 May for the 2nd edition of the International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance. The overarching theme of the conference is: "Surveillance against the odds". The challenges facing surveillance professionals will then be addressed: from their daily work in communities with limited resources, to the dissemination of surveillance information (from public health and veterinary medicine) to facilitate decision-making.

Strengthening the dialogue between policy makers and scientists

The CVOs of twenty countries and territories of the Caribbean**  will attend the Conference to get together with scientists: a first for ICAHS! This is made possible through CaribVET, which is holding its steering committee meeting in Havana just prior to the conference. "We invited the chief veterinary officers to this international conference to encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas with epidemiologists and to enable them to assist in drawing up joint recommendations (which will be announced after the conference) to improve surveillance and control of animal diseases" says CIRAD’s Jennifer Pradel, CaribVET coordinator. "We will prepare the discussions during the steering committee," adds Dr. Patricia bedford, Veterinary Public health specialist from Barbados.

"We want to show that scientists and epidemiological surveillance specialists are listening to the decision makers. We need to work together with the most appropriate tools and technologies to improve the surveillance and knowledge of diseases in order to optimize decision-making." The forty participants in the CaribVET steering committee meeting will also discuss three new animal health projects in the Caribbean, one of which (the Epigenesis project***) aims to strengthen research on emerging vector-borne diseases in the Caribbean and improve interactions with health policymakers.

Regional animal health networks - an example of cooperation between scientists and policy makers

To open the  ICAHS conference, a Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Mark Trotman (Barbados) and a research director, Dr. Thierry Lefrançois (CIRAD, CMAEE Unit), will present the benefits of a successful collaboration between scientists and policy makers to strengthen surveillance, improve disease control and ultimately promote trade in animals and products of animal origin.

Thierry Lefrancois will outline, from a scientific point of view, the benefits of integrated, multidisciplinary approaches and improved surveillance systems with the establishment of research and diagnosis platforms. Mark Trotman will explain the application of science to meet the needs of professionals as well as to demonstrate socio-economic benefits.


** Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Dominican Republic, St Eustatius and Saba, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

*** The Epigenesis project provided financial support to enable all members of CaribVET to attend the ICAHS conference.

Read more: Access the Conference programm

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