H. E. Rashid Mohammed Al Shariqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has inaugurated the Sub- Regional Meeting on camel diseases at Park Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The authority is organizing this three-day event in collaboration with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)
H.E. Mahdi Al Idrisi, FAO Representative in the UAE and Sub-Regional Coordinator for GCC and Yemen, Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE and Silvio Borrello, Representative of Ministry of Public Health, Italy, also were present during the inaugural function.
During the inaugural speech, Al Shariqi hoped the meeting would bring forth valuable recommendations contributing in the establishment of a camel disease information network which may lay foundation for a Camel Disease Reference Center in the UAE.
Al Shariqi said: "Camel is considered as an integral part of cultural and social life in many gulf countries especially in United Arab Emirates. Given this heritage value and its important role in the livestock sector, governments in these countries have given much importance and priority to protect camels and to develop the sector"
"While we have 49 reference centers for animal diseases distributed across some 26 countries in the globe, so far, we didn't have one dedicated for camels. To fill this gap, we in ADFCA, have started working with Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in order to incept a reference center for camel diseases in the UAE" he added.
According to him ADFCA has put much effort to get the agreement for establishing the proposed reference center signed during the 83rd general body meeting of OIE held in Paris last May.
He hoped that, with the establishment of reference center in the UAE, it will become the first of its kind in the whole world and will substantially help OIE and member countries to adopt policies and decisions with regards to camel diseases.
The three day sub-regional meeting will have 24 lectures delivered by 16 subject experts hailing from across the world. Discussions will be held on a wide range of topics including epidemiological situation, diagnostic tests & methods, vaccines & vaccination protocols and zoonotic challenges.
It is noted that ADFCA is in constant efforts to materialize the dream of a reference center for camel diseases in the UAE which will serve as a center for improving the existing scientific and technical competency in understanding and diagnosing epidemics. Carrying out field visits, seminar, workshops and researches under the supervision of global experts, developing and integrating methods of diagnose according to OIE criteria and creating an information network that help GCC countries to adopt best and effective mechanism to monitor and control camel disease are the other objectives of the proposed reference center.