Regional Meeting of OIE Reference Centres in Asia and the Pacific

6-7 February 2017

The OIE and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan (MAFF) organised the Regional Meeting of OIE Reference Centres in Asia and the Pacific held in Tokyo, Japan on 6-7 February 2017. which was attended by a total of 65 participants from OIE Reference Laboratories (RLs) and Collaborating Centres (CCs) located in Asia and Pacific region, and from the rinderpest virus holding facility recognised by the OIE or National Institute of Animal Health, Japan, and the OIE and the host country.

It was opened with welcome remarks by Dr Kazuo Ito, OIE Delegate of Japan, or Director of International Animal Health Affairs Office of MAFF on behalf of the host country, and with opening remarks by Dr Hirofumi Kugita, OIE Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.

The keynote speaker of the meeting was Dr Jean-Phillippe Dop, OIE Deputy Director General, who talked about expected activities of OIE Reference Centres. He said that the network of OIE RLs and CCs is one of the great strengths of the OIE, not only because it represents scientific excellence and covers all areas of OIE activities, but also because it makes the OIE greater, but that, considering their pertinent roles, there is certainly a need to improve their involvement, particularly in disease diagnostics and capacity building so that they could optimise the service to the Member Countries.

The OIE has a global network of OIE Reference Centres consisting of 260 OIE RLs covering 119 diseases or topics in 39 countries, and 51 OIE CCs covering 46 topics in 26 countries. In Asia and Pacific region, there are 48 OIE RLs and 11 OIE CCs. These OIE Reference Centres have been playing important roles for the improvement of animal health and welfare in the region, but not all of them have functioned well. Although Terms of Reference for OIE RLs require them to provide diagnostic testing facilities, 25 out of 43 OIE RLs in Asia and Pacific region did not carry out diagnostic testing for other Member Countries in 2015. Although Terms of Reference for OIE RLs require them to provide scientific and technical training for personnel from Member Countries, only 24 OIE RLs in the region did them in 2015.

In this two-days meeting, the participants considered and discussed about the following topics:

· Key challenges in providing diagnostic testing facilities and technical advice on disease control measures to Member Countries;

· Key challenges in providing scientific and technical training for personnel from Member Countries;

· Key challenges in establishing a network with other OIE Reference Centres to exchange knowledge, reference materials and expertise for the benefit of Member Countries;

· Key challenges in participating in the OIE Twinning Programme;

· Key challenges in contributing to the development of standards for OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Manuals and other OIE normative publications.

After presentations by designated experts from OIE Reference Centres, the participants had open and free discussion about the topics and made constructive suggestions to host countries, to the OIE, to OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (RRAP) and OIE Reference Centers.

The meeting was successfully concluded, and encouraged that the OIE consider flexibility of OIE Twinning Programme; that OIE RRAP organise regular meetings of OIE Reference Centres in the region to support and to encourage the activities of them; and that OIE Reference Centres in the region establish and participate in OIE Reference Centre networks, such as a regional Reference Centre network and networks by species or topics such as aquatic Reference Centre network, so that they could utilise knowledge and resources, including biological reagents, of other OIE Reference Centres for their activities as well as conduct collaborative research and organise inter-laboratory proficiency testing.

Finally the OIE is grateful to MAFF for hosting and supporting the Regional Meeting of OIE Reference Centres in Asia and the Pacific.

Programme

Presentations

Summary and Conclusions

Photos

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