The Second Regional Symposium on Quality Management in Veterinary Laboratories was concluded yesterday in Abu Dhabi with the participation of about 100 experts and specialists in veterinary Laboratories, animal health, livestock industry and biosecurity representing 13 Middle East countries. This symposium was conducted under the theme "Ensuring Quality in a changing landscape"during the 24-25 November 2020, and organized virtually by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation Office in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).
The symposium was successfully conducted with the participation the speakers: Dr. Jennifer Leslie, Project Manager of the OIE's Sustainable Laboratories Initiative, Dr. James Watson, a leader Emergency Disease Investigation group at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Dr. David Korcal, Quality Assurance Manager in Veterinary Laboratories at Michigan State University, and Dr. Salama Al Muhairi, Director of ADAFSA's Veterinary Laboratories Division.
The symposium participants recommended the necessity of implementing quality systems in veterinary laboratories, incorporating quality into veterinary medicine specializations. It further affirmed the importance of ensuring preparedness for combating zoonotic diseases-related epidemics by raising efficiency of veterinary labs, due to their role in controlling epidemics and preventing their spread.
During her welcome note, Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE, congratulated the UAE for inaugurating the OIE Sub-Regional Representation Office in Abu Dhabi for the GCC countries and Yemen. She also congratulated ADAFSA for the designation of its veterinary laboratories as an OIE collaborating center for quality management systems, adding this designation establishes ADAFSA's veterinary labs as a hub of expertise for transferring knowledge and experience to OIE members worldwide.
For her side, HE Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Policy and Regulation Sector, delivered a speech on behalf of HE Saeed Al Bahri Salem Alameri, Director General of ADAFSA, in which she emphasized the symposium's importance in addressing challenges and opportunities to advance quality systems in veterinary laboratories according to the best international standards. She also highlighted the symposium's role in promoting cooperation among Middle East countries in exchanging expertise, to develop livestock industry, protect animal health, control epidemics with proactive policies, and eradicate zoonotic diseases.
"We are happy for the designation of ADAFSA's veterinary laboratories as the first OIE collaborating center for quality management system, Al Muhairi said, stressing ADAFSA's commitment to strengthen cooperation with the OIE Sub-Regional Representation Office in Abu Dhabi, in building the diagnostic capabilities of veterinary laboratories in the region countries by organizing scientific seminars, workshops, and providing technical training for workers in diagnostic analysis.
"ADAFSA" will support scientific efforts to study zoonosis and epidemics, which enhances biosecurity system regionally and globally.
Al Muhairi reviewed efforts made by ADAFSA's Veterinary Laboratories Division to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She noted this symposium recognizes our achievements to develop livestock industry, maintain human, animal health, and control zoonotic diseases to reduce their health, environmental and economic impacts.
For two days, speakers at the symposium discussed the different quality standards, and the role of quality management systems in Laboratories sustainability, scientific innovations and artificial intelligence in ensuring business continuity and improving veterinary laboratory services. Moreover, efforts of ADAFSA's laboratories in combating COVID-19 were also highlighted during the symposium, which include implementing emergency plan, raising laboratories' capacity, and developing appropriate operational plans to control the pandemic without impacting routine activities.
The symposium is one of the most important events organized by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation Office in Abu Dhabi. It aimed at discussing the most important challenges and solutions to ensure business continuity in veterinary laboratories according to quality standards, as well as transferring knowledge and sharing expertise among the region countries. This will support efforts to protect animal health, control animal diseases, and set international standards to facilitate safe trade of livestock between those countries.