Fight Against Lineage 1 Rinderpest Virus Project in Southern Sudan.
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During year one the project has focussed on introducing the strategy for the eradication of rinderpest from Sudan to all stakeholders, ensuring that mass rinderpest vaccination stopped in line with the strategy, improving outbreak reporting and investigation systems, introducing community-based surveillance systems, and developing emergency preparedness systems in case of a rinderpest outbreak. Training has been provided for CAHWs, supervisors and field veterinarians, and community dialogue has been carried out and communication materials disseminated. The project has supported regional co-ordination meetings and facilitated sessions on rinderpest eradication, and organized a review and planning meetings for project co-ordinators and counterparts in Nairobi. Rinderpest outbreak rumours have been followed up and there have been no confirmed cases of rinderpest so far in 2002. Some planned activities were not carried out so they have been rescheduled to be carried out in year two e.g. wildlife surveillance. During the year, there has been an increase in the areas under rebel-control, when some key towns in eastern Equatoria were taken over by the SPLA. This has expanded the area that needs to be covered by the project. In addition there are areas outside the southern region of Sudan that are not under government control and therefore it will be difficult for the government to carry out surveillance and verify absence of rinderpest in these areas e.g. SPLA areas of Nuba mountains and Southern Blue Nile and parts of north-eastern Sudan under NDA control. The project proposes to make linkages with agencies working in these areas to ensure their participation in rinderpest eradication, develop systems for outbreak reporting and investigation, and carry out surveillance visits to the areas. As a result of the expansion of rinderpest eradication activities, the project plans to utilise some of the funds that were unspent during year one to employ an additional field veterinarian with the necessary support to assist in covering the additional areas. The focus for year two is to continue to develop and refine the systems for outbreak reporting and investigation, surveillance and emergency preparedness, to ensure that if rinderpest virus is still present that it is identified and action taken, and, if it is no longer present, to start to build up evidence that Sudan is free of rinderpest.