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Newsletter CONTINUOUS INFORMATIONOne Health Collaboration, Sustainability of Veterinary Services and Regional Investment

CONTINUOUS INFORMATION Posted on 2023-12-13 11:50:14

One Health Collaboration, Sustainability of Veterinary Services and Regional Investment

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Photo (left to right): Dr Monique Eloit, Dr Sanad Al-Harbi and Dr Fajer Sabah Al Salloom © 2023/Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture, Saudi Arabia

17th Regional Commission for the Middle East Conference, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1–5 October 2023

WOAH urged conference members to collaborate across sectors, strengthen financial mechanisms, and invest in the national Veterinary Services in a targeted manner. It also encouraged them to leverage the support provided by the Organisation to mobilise their national authorities and ensure adequate funding for these Veterinary Services.

Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities for two main technical items: One Health and Sustainability of Veterinary Services. They developed two recommendations that will be presented to the World Assembly of Delegates for endorsement in May 2024.

One Health implementation – antimicrobial resistance and rabies

As the One Health approach recognises the interconnection between animal, human and environmental health, cross-sectoral collaboration is critical to ensure effective implementation of the One Health National Action Plans. Participants identified two priorities: antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and rabies control. Both require multi-sectoral coordination under the One Health approach.

The Middle East Region aims to lead on AMR and will work to further the recently signed Gulf Cooperation Council plan to address outbreaks of resistant microbes in the animal health field. The Commission commended the plan and expressed interest in it becoming the first inter-ministerial regional network on AMR.

The Conference also acknowledged the challenges of dog population management for rabies elimination and encouraged the use of WOAH tools and standards to support this goal. Sustained dog vaccination is a critical element for eliminating dog-mediated rabies. Delegates were reminded about the different tools available, including capacity building activities and the United Against Rabies Forum.

 Sustainability of Veterinary Services

The Commission recognised the need for governments to develop a regional strategy to promote cooperation, collaboration and solidarity among regional Members. It also emphasised the necessity for Members to further engage in the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Pathway, to update and complete their legislative and regulatory frameworks, which will increase the authority of each element in the veterinary domain.

WOAH Delegates unanimously recognised the critical need to strengthen existing national financial mechanisms and actively seek alternative financial arrangements. The conference called for action by Members and partners to consider potential regional investment opportunities. Finance opportunities through the Pandemic and One Heath Funds were mentioned along with practical information on how to approach finance. The importance of identifying the beneficiaries of the investments was stressed to better guide Veterinary Services to identify the origin of funds, including potential support from the private sector.

 Targeted regional investment

There is a need to invest in the Middle East region through the World Fund. Targeted intra-regional investments could support regional strategies, coordination and harmonisation. This could position the Region as a global leader in animal health and biosecurity and ensure the intensification of WOAH activities.

Multiple avenues for investing in WOAH were also discussed, ranging from statutory contributions to extraordinary and voluntary contributions. These investments could fund targeted projects aligned with national and/or regional goals in the context of solidarity.

It is key to engage with respective ministries and stakeholders to articulate the compelling benefits of investing in WOAH. This will increase the understanding and appreciation of WOAH’s mandate, role and the added value of regional membership.

More information

 The conference was held with the generous support of the hosting government and brought together 57 participants, including WOAH Delegates and representatives of regional and international organisations, as well as of the private sector.

WOAH Director General Dr Monique Eloit reminded Members of the Organisation’s mission to improve animal health globally and build a safer, healthier and more sustainable world. Veterinary Services in the region must strengthen their capacities and capabilities to implement policies and strategies for animal health and welfare, Veterinary Public Health and international trade.

Dr Sanad Al-Harbi, the President of the Regional Commission and Delegate of Saudi Arabia, closed by saying that the conference was a valuable opportunity for the Regional Commission for the Middle East to exchange views and experiences on the key topics and to reaffirm its commitment to improving animal health in the region.

 

Contact: WOAH Regional Activities Department (regactivities.dept@woah.org)

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