cow.jpgThe Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development is supporting capacity building in preparation for any diseases outbreak in livestock, wildlife and people through an integrated action plan.

Officially opening a week long regional workshop on wildlife capture and sampling techniques for disease surveillance in the capital, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Mr Ngoni Masoka said there is need for global interventions to reduce threats of emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Mr Masoka said before the implementation of the support programme for an Integrated National Action Plan (SPINAP), Zimbabwe had already put in place an Inter-Ministerial taskforce on animal health and controlling bird flu.

“The SPINAP project has helped the ministry to integrate their efforts and capacities to fight re-emerging diseases in livestock, wildlife and humans,” said Mr Masoka.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Representative at the workshop, Dr Scott Newman and African Union SPINAP Regional Coordinator, Dr Gift Wanda said the workshop is critical in fighting diseases in livestock and wildlife and will equip delegates with skills of capturing wildlife data and disease surveillance.

“The workshop is vital towards the reduction of diseases in the region and will assist delegates with information on disease surveillance,” said Dr Newman.

The regional workshop will provide an opportunity to revitalise regional networks on wildlife health and to initiate a platform for long-term capacity building on wildlife disease surveillance.

It was attended by host Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Angola among other SADC countries.