After more than a decade, Guyana has once again tested its readiness to combat any possible outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
This activity was conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), during the week of the 13-17th of December.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there were also participants from the Ministry of Health in neighbouring Brazil. The Guyana Police Force, Guyana Defence Force, Wildlife Division, Guyana Prison Service and other governmental and non-governmental organizations also participated.
In an effort to engage as many stakeholders as possible, the exercise was conducted in Regions Four and Nine.
A desktop exercise was conducted at the (GLDA)’s Head Office, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, for all technical staff within the GLDA and other stakeholders located on the coast line.
A field simulation exercise was conducted in Region Nine and included the GLDA’s hinterland staff and other staff members from the coastal regions. GLDA Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally addressed the gathering.
The objective of the field activity was to test the country’s ability to respond to an outbreak of FMD, a highly contagious animal disease.
“Observers comprising representation from PAHO/WHO, IICA, MOH and the Ministry of Agriculture, Brazil (State of Roraima) expressed satisfaction with the staff’s obvious knowledge of the epidemiology of this disease and therefore their ability to mount a control and eradication response should this disease was ever detected in Guyana,” the Ministry said.
Dr. Dwight Walrond, FMD focal point and Guyana’s Delegate to the World Animal Health Organization, in his remarks emphasized on the timeliness of this exercise since it is one of the prerequisite to Guyana maintaining its FMD free status.
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