FAO investigates ASF outbreaks in Western Balkans

Outbreak investigation, basic epidemiology included in the educational programme
calendar icon 6 June 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

As part of its work to combat African swine fever in the region, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is building capacity to improve ASF management. In mid-May, the organisation offered teaching in outbreak investigation and basic epidemiology to participants from Western Balkans in a four-day workshop in Sarajevo, according to a recent press release.

"It took about five years for African swine fever to reach all countries and territories in the Western Balkans,” said Mark Hovari, Animal Health Preparedness Expert. “Improving capacity in outbreak investigation and data analysis will lead to better understanding of disease behaviour and, ultimately, improved disease control."

The workshop was led by international experts and attended by national participants from the region who had an opportunity to share best practices on how to investigate an ASF outbreak, discuss risk factors for ASF, and learn how to use epidemiological tools and data analysis.

The workshop curriculum features a mix of lectures, interactive sessions, and group work. Participants learn about disease surveillance, practice outbreak investigation through scenarios and role-play, and use case data to identify risk factors for disease spread.

Future activities under the project will focus on country specific activities tackling topics such as farm biosecurity, stamping out infected pig farms, development of educational videos, costing of the disease and its control, and training of hunters.

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