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Enhancing laboratory capacities in the Caribbean for better animal health regional surveillance

Lefrançois T., Barcos L., Pradel J., Vachiery N., Kalloo M., Lazarus C.. 2012. In : 13th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics : Book of abstracts. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers, p. 446-446. International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics. 13, 2012-08-20/2012-08-24, Maastricht (Pays-Bas).

The Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) is a collaboration network of veterinary services, laboratories, research institutes and regional/international organizations in the Caribbean. Its goal is to improve animal and veterinary public health in the 32 Caribbean countries and territories. In the past, CaribVET had evaluated 34 CARICOM diagnostic laboratories and organized several workshops on IATA regulations and on diagnostic techniques. CaribVET coordinated simulation exercises on Avian Influenza samples' shipment and inter-laboratory assays on Classical Swine Fever diagnostic. The 'Laboratory Quality Assurance and Diagnosis Working Group ' (WG), created in 2011, gathers main actors involved in diagnostic and laboratory activities and meets every 3-4 months physically or virtually. The WG (1) regularly updates diagnostic capabilities and capacities in the region; (2) identifies training needs, promotes and strengthens links with reference labs; (3) provides guidance for the development of a regional network of laboratories while promoting the exchange of data, protocols, materials, and human resources; (4) promotes the implementation of quality assurance in veterinary diagnostic laboratories; and (5) supports the logistics of inter-laboratory assays. Recent achievements include (1) the development of an online database of laboratories in the Americas (CaribVET, CIRAD Guadeloupe, OIE collaboration); (2) signature of a letter of understanding between OIE and CaribVET to develop joint activities in accordance to both structures' recommendations; and (3) organization of a workshop on diagnostics of swine influenza and quality assurance in Guadeloupe within the FAO technical cooperation project on swine influenza surveillance. These coordinated activities reinforce diagnostic capacities and capabilities in the Caribbean which are essential for efficient surveillance of animal health. (Texte intégral)

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