Colorado State University epidemiologist Mo Salman, working with the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture, conducted a workshop last month designed to help Iraq plan for its public and animal health needs.
The Jan. 6-11 workshop included participation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Embassies in Baghdad and Damascus. Dr. Salman is an expert in rebuilding veterinary services and government branches in underdeveloped and challenged countries.
During the workshop, participants developed a plan for the veterinary community for animal and public health and exchanged modern technical capabilities for controlling and managing the five priority animal diseases in Iraq. These diseases are brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, foot-and-mouth disease, high pathogen avian influenza and echinococcosis. The USDA's Animal Health Technical Assistance Program in Iraq, funded by the U.S. Department of State, will provide technical assistance for animal health and food safety during the next two years.
One hundred and five attendees were at the workshop with 93 Iraqi participants representing the State Veterinary Company; four ministries (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education, and the Ministry of Science and Technology); the Prime Minister's office; the Agriculture Committee to the Parliament; the Kurdistan Regional Government; the Iraqi Poultry Producers Association; the Iraqi Veterinary Association and the Baghdad Zoo. Each of the 18 provinces in Iraq was represented. The U.S. technical team consisted of representatives from USDA's FAS and APHIS, the U.S. Department of Defense, Colorado State University, University of Georgia, North Carolina State University and Texas Animal Health Commission.
The workshop aimed to build a comprehensive national animal health program using modern techniques and decision tools. This workshop was a continuation of previous efforts by the same team in which four other meetings and workshops were conducted. This workshop focused on presenting options for managing the five diseases listed above.
Participants in the workshop presented the current status of these diseases in Iraq and reviewed potential strategies for controlling these diseases and current diagnostic techniques. The participants were requested to help craft a national plan to manage these diseases.
Workshop accomplishments include:
In addition to Dr. Salman, the team from the United States included Dr. Linda Logan, APHIS Attaché for U.S. Embassy Cairo; Dr. Paula Cowen, APHIS/Veterinary Services; Dr. John Belfrage, APHIS/Veterinary Services; Dr. Max Coats, APHIS/International Services; Dr. Sharon Williams, FAS/Baghdad; Mr. Saad Kadum, FAS/Baghdad; Dr. Prema Arasu, North Carolina State University; Dr. Corrie Brown, University of Georgia; and Ms. Jennifer Maurer, FAS/OCBD Animal Health Project Manager.