Libya, 9 April 2019 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is completing the cycle of training workshops on fighting Zoonotic diseases in Libya implemented in the framework of the Emergency Assistance for Outbreaks of Deadly Zoonotic Diseases (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Rabies outbreaks and Rift Valley fever) along with its local partners.
The University of Tripoli, in collaboration with the National Center of Animal Health of the Libyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Marine Resources, organized in March in Benghazi a three-day training workshop targeting Animal Health officers from Benghazi, al-Marj, Al-Abyar, Suluq, Qaminis, Ajdabiya and Zella. The workshop aimed at building the capacity of veterinarians in detecting these diseases, determining their amplitude and fighting them, in addition to good emergency practices management and communication on Animal Health.
Another similar workshop was organized earlier in Tripoli, with participants from Animal Health offices in Tripoli, Zawiya, Sorman, Sabratha, Al-Ajaylat, Jumail, Zuwarah, Janzour, Jafara, Qasr Bin- Ghashir, Tajura, Tarhuna, Msallata and Khoms.
Zakaria Alkhattal, the director general of the National Center of Animal Health, said that these workshops are part of the ongoing training program targeting five regions in Libya (Benghazi, Derna, Sirte, Sabha and Tripoli), in the framework of the collaboration with FAO, with the aim of training 80 veterinarians and veterinary assistants. Five awareness workshops are planned to host 30 veterinarians, who will be expected to organize awareness sessions to other veterinarians, farmers and consumers. It is expected that these awareness sessions on zoonotic diseases would reach 5000 people. Trainees will be executing preventive vaccination to dogs against rabies, and conduct field surveys on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), and Rift Valley fever, in order to achieve effective surveillance and control of zoonotic diseases for protecting humans and animals. As a result of these surveys, 20 veterinarians will be trained on conducting specialized tests, analyzing samples and interpreting results.
Mohammed Al-Ansi, Officer in Charge of FAO Libya praised the importance of the partnership between FAO, The University of Tripoli and the National Center of Animal Health, stating the importance of this ongoing collaboration for efficiently achieving the goals of this project, funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the United Nations. He said that this confirms Libya’s commitment in fighting against zoonotic diseases and trans-boundary diseases.
Activities of the Emergency Assistance for combatting Deadly Zoonotic Diseases will continue until June 2019 through a set of training sessions for veterinarians and farmers, awareness campaigns on the risks of these diseases, vaccination of dogs against rabies, and field surveys on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, and Rift Valley Fever.