SPC strengthens animal disease preparedness and surveillance capacity in Samoa

Suva

Livestock officers in Samoa are boosting their surveillance and data processing skills through a new SPC initiative that partners with the Samoa Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).

The animal disease surveillance and capacity-building training took place from 13- 22 February as part of the Safe Agriculture Facilitation through Economic Integration in the Pacific (SAFE Pacific) project and MPI’s Animal Health and Biosecurity Pacific Partnership programme. 

The SAFE Pacific project is funded by the European Union and implemented by SPC in 15 countries in the region and the Biosecurity Pacific Partnership Programme is funded by MPI and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

“We are focused on increasing the capacity of livestock officers to carry out surveillance activities by collecting and processing diagnostic samples that will provide animal disease status information and help with reporting," said the Pacific Community's (SPC) Land Resources Division Animal Health and Production Advisor Dr. Sripad Sosale.

“This is crucial to preventing disease incursions, as well as providing early warning of incursions.

This contributes to the larger effort to reduce threats to Pacific people’s food security, biodiversity, and economic livelihoods. It also underlines the importance of a collective effort and building partnerships and collaborations to strengthen and catalyse the efficiency of our responses and disease preparedness,” he said.

MAF Animal Production and Health Division Assistant Chief Executive Officer Fesilia’i Tulia Molimau – Iosefa said the assistance provided by the SAFE project, and veterinarian support from MPI not only upgraded the skills of livestock officers within the animal health subsection, but also further contributed to improved services provided to farmers.

“The surveillance will greatly assist biosecurity efforts in controlling entry of animal diseases into Samoa.”

A total of 17 MAF officers participated in the training.

 “The support provided by our team is part of a long-standing commitment to contribute to resilient, safe, and improved animal disease status in the Pacific,” said MPI Animal Health and Biosecurity Pacific Partnership Programme Manager Dr Andrew McFadden.

“It’s crucial to have meaningful partnerships and collaborations to achieve this. Through the collective efforts of our two agencies, we have managed to deliver a better package of support to MAF.”

In addition to training, the SPC team provided equipment, including a tablet for data collection during survey work and consumables for lab and field blood collection that will be sent for lab processing. MPI also provided field and lab consumables and a centrifuge for blood processing. The training and surveillance mission will be completed this week.

Through the SAFE Pacific project, the Pacific Community's (SPC) Land Resources Division team will carry out similar training and capacity-building in more Pacific Island countries over the next two years.

Media Contacts:
Maryann Lockington, Communications Officer, Safe Pacific Project, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]
Dr Sripad Sosale,  Animal Health and Production Advisor, Pacific Community (SPC), Land Resources Division | [email protected]
Elenoa Salele, Animal Health Officer, Pacific Community (SPC), Land Resources Division | [email protected]

For general media enquiries, please contact [email protected]

About SPC:
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organisation in the region, owned and governed by its 27 member countries and territories. www.spc.int 
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