The Steering Committee, formed to establish the Reference Center for Camel Diseases held its first meeting recently at the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority located in Mohammed Bin Zayed City.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Rashid Mohammed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, H.E. Adil Khalfan Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Animal Wealth Sector and other high-placed officials. Representatives from Italian Reference Veterinary Laboratories Network and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) also were present in the meeting.
The Committee deliberated on several topics including the road map for establishing the proposed center, implementation of the provisions in the agreement made between ADFCA and Italian Reference Veterinary Laboratories Network and the preparation for Regional Conference on Camel Diseases scheduled to be held in February 2016 in Abu Dhabi City.
In this regard, Dr. Salama Suhail Al Muhairi, Director of ADFCA Veterinary Laboratories Division commented: "This meeting can be considered as the first step in the journey for establishing a reference center for camel diseases, which will be a first of its kind in the whole region. The discussions focused on the mechanism to qualify the technical staff of ADFCA veterinary laboratories ahead of the inception of the reference center and to create an effective cooperation among other laboratories in the region"
She said, by the inception of the center, Abu Dhabi will become the first place in the Middle East to have a reference center in the area of camel diseases.
According to her, currently, there are 49 OIE reference centers in the world in the area of animal health. These centers which are distributed in 26 countries deal with 46 different specialties related to animal health.
"As there is no a single reference center that deals with camel diseases, the proposed center in Abu Dhabi will become a leading source for information and knowledge which can be depended by the decision and policy makers around the world" she continued.
It was at the 83rd General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates held in Paris in May 2015 that ADFCA signed the agreement with OIE and Italian Reference Laboratories Network in order to establish the center in Abu Dhabi.
It is believed that the establishment of the new reference center will substantially bring in positive changes in the area related to camel health in the whole Middle East. The project aims to enhance knowledge and technical competency in diagnosis, prevention and disease control activities through research and advanced training. The activities of the center will greatly contribute in supporting competent government agencies across GCC countries to adopt adequate programs to check and control epidemics affecting camels, the most important element in region's animal wealth sector.