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Contributions of the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) to the improvement of animal health cooperation and disease surveillance and control capacities

Pradel J., Gongora V., Frias Lepoureau M.T., Percedo Abreu M.I., Alfonso Zamora P., Oura C., Vokaty A., Lazarus C., Delgado A., Albina E., Charles R., Georges K., Bedford P., Trotman M., Sanford B., Tortosa La Osa S., Morales P., Peters G.. 2019. In : Abstract book of the Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting : Coopérer sur les problématiques communes au territoires Caribéens. Le Gosier : UAG, p. 102-102. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting (CSIM 2019), 2019-10-19/2019-10-22, Le Gosier (Chine).

The Caribbean, situated at the crossroads of the Americas and Europe, includes highly contrasted territories threatened by the emergence/re-emergence of pathogens and climate change. Disease surveillance and control within the Caribbean has historically been difficult requiring a regional strategy to strengthen national epidemiological surveillance systems and reduce health risks. The Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) is an impact-oriented, scientifically driven and participatory regional network aiming at improving animal and veterinary public health in the Caribbean. Officially endorsed by the CARICOM Secretariat and recognized by the World Animal Health organization, it garners the efforts of 47 partners: veterinary services, universities, research institutes and regional/international organizations. It is a model of integrated research and surveillance and of a two-ways communication platform between the national and the regional levels, and between science and policy. In this paper, we present 2012-2018 main achievements of CaribVET 1. Animal and zoonotic disease emergency preparedness: a regional preparedness plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was implemented in 2015-2016 addressing key aspects of emergency preparedness and response. The network was able to leverage regional projects and fundings to quickly address an evolving threat. 2. Development of core competences within the Ministries contributing to strengthen significantly national surveillance/control systems: more than 70 health professionals from 12 Caribbean countries were trained in basic epidemiology, diagnostic, biosecurity, Geographic Information System, risk-based surveillance, and ¿One Health¿ following capacity building programmes led by partner projects that contributed to strengthened cross-border communication and collaboration in the region overall. 3. New scientific knowledge on tick-borne pathogens diversity and abundance in the Caribbean thank to the Domotick Project. Capitalizing on those experiences, CaribVET now prepares for African Swine Fever and aims at reducing within the next decade the vulnerability of the livestock sector by reducing risks of disasters (natural, sanitary) using a One Health approach

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