STRATEGY OF THE PACE PROGRAMME
African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources
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Livestock constitute an important part of the economy in Africa. Apart from 160 million cattle, there are large populations of small ruminants, pigs and poultry, in addition to camels and equines, the importance of which varies from one ecological region to another. Animal diseases represent a serious constraint on socio-economic development and major losses arise from their occurrence, particularly from the epizootic diseases whose control requires effective collaboration across international borders. The epizootics included in the "List A diseases" of the Office Internationale des Epizooties (OIE) are defined as "transmissible diseases which have the potential for very serious and rapid spread, irrespective of national borders, which are of serious socio-economic or public health consequence and which are of major importance in the international trade of animals and animal products." Some of the OIE "List B diseases" are also important epizootics. In the 1980s, there was a widespread resurgence of rinderpest in many countries across Africa. In response, the Directors of OAU Member States called upon the OAU Secretary General to take urgent action. In 1986, the Organization of African Unity Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (OAU/IBAR), with financial and technical support from donors (notably the European Union), launched the Pan-African Rinderpest Campaign (PARC), which ended in 1999. Over a period of 13 years, PARC largely achieved its primary objective and removed rinderpest from all but a few countries in eastern Africa; it also produced major policy changes to improve the sustainability of veterinary services, in many countries. The policy issues that PARC addressed were: • Cost recovery • Liberalisation of policies for drug importation and distribution • Privatization of animal health services • Sanitary mandates • Strengthening associations/cooperatives • Establishment of animal health development levy PARC's initial strategy for the control and progressive eradication of rinderpest relied on raising national herd immunity to stop transmission of the virus, using quality-controlled vaccines. Subsequently, mass vaccinations were reduced and succeeded by active disease search, and containment of rinderpest outbreaks. PARC also emphasized a sub-regional approach and established a cordon sanitaire in Central Africa to prevent the westerly spread of the disease. Consequently, PARC has provided PACE with a basis for its rinderpest eradication strategy and for achieving its other major objectives. Other epizootic diseases present an increasing constraint in many sub-Saharan countries. Through several initiatives, some assisted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), national and sub-regional strategies have been developed to assist the control of such diseases as contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP) and African swine fever (ASF), notably in West Africa. These will be re-examined during the PACE Programme. The PACE Programme will contribute to the goal of reducing poverty among those involved in stock farming by improving productivity, thereby improving their livelihoods and enhancing food security. The vision is improved prevention and progressive control of the major epizootic diseases by providing a sound technical basis and enhanced national decision support for strategic animal health management, at national and regional levels. The purpose of the PACE Programme is to revitalize animal health services through strengthening national and regional capabilities to sustain surveillance, as well as strategic control of major animal diseases, and to improve animal health care, in 32 sub-Saharan countries.
- PACE Documents & Reports