The Livestock Epidemio Surveillance Programme (LESP-ES) aims to improve the livelihoods and resilience to food insecurity of about 427,000 vulnerable rural smallholders in the three Eastern Sudan states Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea.
The planned interventions aim to strengthen the technical capacities of regional veterinary services through achieving three results:
- Technical capacities for coordinated epidemio-surveillance and control of trans-boundary animal diseases strengthened at state level
- Diagnostic capacity of veterinary laboratories and quarantine facilities at state and locality levels improved.
- Awareness and skills of rural livestock producers and other stakeholders concerning animal health, production and trade are improved.
One of the main concerns is the improvement of the diagnostic capacity of veterinary laboratories and quarantine facilities at state and local levels. Activities that will help achieve this are the improvement of the work environment through rehabilitation of the Gedarif Veterinary Regional laboratory, provision of furniture and increasing the capacity of cold chain facilities for storage of samples. The Regional Veterinary Research Laboratory plays a crucial role in livestock export through the diagnosis of trade relevant diseases such as Brucella.
Dr. Hatim Hamad, director of the laboratory, indicated that the support he had received from Practical Action through LESP project is unprecedented and could not be afforded by the Ministry of Finance. He indicated that the enhancement of the work environment had contributed positively to best practices and the support to the cold chain facilities enable the laboratory to accommodate the samples of more than 13 veterinary professionals pursuing their Masters degrees as well as the training of veterinarians and veterinary technicians/
He also noted that the support received enabled the laboratory to open a new tick identification and classification unit taking in consideration the importance of tick borne diseases. He added that the epidemio-surveillance field missions executed through the project will enable the collection of tick samples from different state localities and during this period he had successfully identified Hyaloma species for the first time in Gedarif State.
He indicated that the provision of better diagnostic tools and equipment will improve the diagnostic capacities of the lab tremendously and help in meeting the OIE requirement which is considered one of the major ways in which the programme has added value.
Dr Hamad expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted by Practical Action towards the development of Eastern Sudan States and his wish to continue cooperation between Practical Action and Ministry of Livestock in the future.