Wednesday 17 August 2022 - 11:21:11 pm

WOAH designated ADAFSA’s veterinary labs as first Collaborating Centre for Camel Diseases in Middle East


ABU DHABI, 16th June, 2022 (WAM) -- In recognition of its scientific and technical efforts at the regional and international levels, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has designated the veterinary laboratories of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) as a collaborating centre for camel diseases in the Middle East, consolidating the UAE's leading position in the biosecurity field.

The resolution was taken during the 89th General Session, the World Assembly of Delegates of WOAH were decided to designate the ADAFSA camel diseases laboratory which was recently established as a collaborating centre as a scientific research arm for the WOAH on camel diseases in the Middle East, aiming at promoting rapid response to epidemics and emerging disease situations and expanding the scope of analyses in line with epidemiology of camel diseases in the region.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, expressed her appreciation to OIE for the accreditation that reaffirms the UAE’s active role in enhancing animal health in the region. She also commended ADAFSA’s efforts that have considerably strengthened its ability to safeguard animal health and led to this important achievement.

The Minister noted that due to the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership and under the direction of the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the country is keen to boost its competitiveness and meet international standards in all fields to help build a better, more sustainable future for the region.

Mariam Almheiri extended her gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of ADAFSA, for his ongoing support of local and international endeavours aimed at reinforcing best practices in biosecurity and public health.

"The accreditation of ADAFSA’s labs as a collaborating centre for camel diseases in the Middle East is the latest addition to the country’s long track record of achievements in animal health protection that also includes Abu Dhabi’s selection to host the OIE regional office in 2019. As animal health is directly linked to public health, safeguarding it is a priority that all concerned authorities, with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at the forefront, are working to meet through adopting state-of-the-art technologies and solutions, promoting R&D, and rolling out supporting initiatives and projects," she said.

Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, affirmed that the designation of the ADAFSA’s veterinary labs as a collaborating centre for camel diseases is an international recognition of the pioneering scientific achievements of the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, pointing out this achievement is the culmination of the strategic vision of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of ADAFSA, by enhancing Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE's role in biosecurity, and achieving the global leadership in food security, in addition to enhancing the impact of ADAFSA at the regional and international levels and redrawing the map of camel diseases in the region through genetic characterisation of pathogens, which assists the Middle East countries in developing policies and strategies related to the control of disease and prevention, improving the response to animal disease epidemics and strengthening the approach of One Health.

Al Ameri stated that the UAE has demonstrated its superiority and positive impact regionally and globally, day after day, thanks to its good leadership, with its credibility, confidence, and integrity, as well as its innovative leadership, which has enabled us to achieve this international recognition, and this achievement exemplifies the efforts of ADAFSA and its veterinary labs.

"We managed to develop a series of tests for diagnosing diseases to protect animals in line with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's strategic plan to strengthen biosecurity and food security," he added.

"We are glad to cooperate with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and renew our commitment to support all programmes and activities necessary to increase livestock development, strengthen biosecurity, and ensure food security for the people of the region and the world," Al Ameri said, noting that by focusing on camel diseases, the reference centre will be able to identify the animal diseases, ensure the effectiveness of vaccination programmes, conduct scientific research and field and laboratory studies in the area, and provide scientific and technical consultations and training under the direction of the collaboration of centre experts.

"Furthermore, we exchange experiences and knowledge in this field by cooperating with international institutions, and we fill the knowledge gap in the field of camel diseases by intensifying and deepening scientific research knowledge and studying mysterious pathological phenomena, revealing the causes of death and controlling it, and benefiting from research outputs in the development of analysis and reagent production," he added.

Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), congratulated the UAE on the designation of the ADAFSA’s Veterinary Labs as a collaboration centre for camel diseases, noting that this designation was based on scientific criteria, including the efficiency of the ADAFSA's laboratories and its scientific cadres alongside with its ability to help WOAH understand and diagnose camel diseases in the region and the world, improve scientific and technical capabilities, transfer knowledge and expertise among WOAH members around the world and strengthen surveillance and control programmes for major camel diseases.

The Director-General of the WOAH praised the significant support provided by the UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular to the World Organisation and its assistance in achieving the goals and strategies of the WOAH members at the regional and global levels, stressing the importance of strengthening joint action to consolidate the biosecurity system regionally and globally in light of the increasing challenges associated with the food chain.

The designation of the collaboration centre for camel diseases in the UAE is a recognition of the significant role played by the camel sector in enhancing food security and providing products with multiple benefits and reflects the international organisation’s appreciation for the UAE’s leading role in all areas of camel production.

Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority veterinary laboratories carried out many activities during the establishment of the collaborating centre, including the establishment of specialised laboratories equipped with the highest levels of biosafety and modern diagnostic techniques such as advanced genetic sequencing techniques.

Vaccines have also been developed for camel diseases such as Camel pox and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and epidemiological surveys, as well as enrich scientific research and publish research papers and books, where a number of research papers on camel diseases have been published over the past three years, and more recently. The first ATLAS of camel diseases has been published in the region and a book has been published on camel infectious diseases, and a series of accurate analyses have been activated to detect epidemic and common diseases to enhance One health approach.

The veterinary laboratories of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority have achieved many international achievements in the field of quality and management of laboratory diagnostic processes, where they have been accredited as a collaboration centre in the field of quality management systems from the World Organisation for Animal Health, an international designation that allow it to play an advisory role and an expertise house that supports the quality system and contributes to knowledge transfer to the WOAH’s members around the world.

The ADAFSA veterinary laboratories contribute to enhancing the biosecurity of the Emirate and responding to the emergency of epidemic diseases, through the diagnosis of diseases in accordance with the latest technologies, laboratory tests on diagnostic samples, disease survey programmes, analyses related to vaccine efficiency and immunology determination, in addition to analyses related to livestock development, as well as it has achieved many global, regional and national achievements in the field of disease diagnosis and laboratory analysis.

WAM/Lina ibrahim/Hazem Hussein