Punta Cana, 29 November 2018 – The 24th Conference of the Regional Commission of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for the Americas held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from 19 to 23 November 2018.
The conference brought together 89 participants, including national delegates and/or representatives of the 23 Member Countries of the Americas and authorities from OIE Headquarters, Regional and Sub-Regional Representation. Also participating were representatives of international1 and regional2 organizations involved in veterinary public and animal health activities in the region, several observers, experts and representatives of the private sector.
The participants had the opportunity to assess the achievements made during the implementation of the 6th Strategic Plan and the global challenges currently facing the OIE. The new approach proposed for the development of the 7th Strategic Plan, which will require the active participation of OIE Member Countries, was also presented.
The following technical topics were addressed during the conference: “The role of private Veterinarians in official veterinary service programmes: mechanisms of interaction, accreditation and quality control in a globalized world” and “Sustainability of veterinary services: experiences and challenges”. Both topics generated discussions among the participants, resulting in a series of recommendations on actions to be implemented by the different parties involved. These recommendations will be presented for adoption by the OIE World Assembly during the 87th General Session in May 2019.
Participants received detailed information as well as an analysis of the situation and trends of the diseases of most concern to the region, compiled through the OIE Global Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), mainly avian influenza, foot and mouth disease, equine influenza, glanders and a selection of aquatic animal diseases.
The global African swine fever situation was presented. The disease is currently absent in the region and Member Countries were urged to implement prevention measures as established in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code and to strengthen farm biosecurity.
With a view to supporting the development and implementation of national action plans against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a roundtable was held in which participating countries presented their experiences in applying the One Health approach. The international organizations announced the activities carried out, as well as those planned to continue supporting the countries of the region in the development and implementation of national actions against AMR. In the Americas region, six Member Countries have national action plans on antimicrobial resistance and others are progressing in the development of such plans, so training at all levels to improve awareness of AMR and improved communication between government entities involved in the issue become key factors.
This conference reflected the interest of the OIE in encouraging the active participation of Member Countries in its present activities and future actions at the global level, as well as in the process of developing international standards in a consensual manner.
The discussions generated a series of recommendations that establish responsibilities in Member Countries and define supporting actions in order to continue strengthening Veterinary Services throughout the world.
The OIE would like to express its grateful thanks to the Government of the Dominican Republic for the organization of this conference.