Islamabad, June 27, 2019 (PPI-OT): On June 26th, 2019 Ministry of National Food Security and Research received the Edouard Saouma Award in Rome, Italy by FAO. This is awarded for the development of the National Control Program for Foot and Mouth disease in Pakistan. This is indeed a proud moment for the country and its export. Moreover it will encourage to pursue early endorsement of FMD control program by the OIE and to achieve FMD-PCP Stage 3 soonest possible under new FMD program and achieving there by the ultimate objective of Pakistan to accessing high end export markets for our animal products.
The Edouard Saouma Award, named after former FAO Director General, Mr. Edouard Saouma, for his conception in implementation with particular efficiency. Presence of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) is one of major impediments to otherwise significant international trade in animal products. Pakistan and FAO successfully implemented FMD program that resulted in low disease burden however with increased frequency of reporting of FMD cases in the country. Stage-2 of FMD was achieved, surveillance framework was developed, manpower was trained, vaccine and consumable were timely provided in the field and laboratories respectively.
FMD Surveillance was further strengthened and its outbreaks were systematically investigated and characterized which enabled Pakistan to procure FMD vaccine with matching strains of circulating virus in the field. This made control intervention effective and efficient. Moreover, Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of FAO strengthened specifically nine diagnostic laboratories in terms of reagents, essential equipment and training of at least two veterinarians from each laboratory. For awareness, 533 government veterinarians, 477 government veterinary assistants, 55 senior government veterinary officials, 486 veterinary students/faculty members and 57 staff of private dairy companies were given training in outbreak investigation, sample collection and dispatch beside the awareness on the use of good quality vaccine.
Moreover, the TCP developed a project proposal titled “Risk-based FMD control in Pakistan” and presented to Government of Pakistan for funding, under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). This proposal was considered and approved by CDWP at the cost of PKR 763 million. FAO will implement this Program under Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) arrangement. Dr. Khurshid Ahmed, Animal Husbandry Commissioner received the award on behalf of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Government of Pakistan.
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