Digital portal for disease surveillance
The Poultry Disease Management Agency’s (PDMA) main focus is to protect the national flock through surveillance, monitoring and management of diseases which threaten the health of the flock and food security. This it does through coordinating and facilitating the implementation of poultry disease management strategies and plans, animal welfare policy, and practice guidance in collaboration with the government and other key stakeholders. Currently the agency is tasked with coordination of Avian Influenza surveillance information.
For the maintenance of data integrity as well as ensuring that reliable science-based information is available to decision makers quickly at the point of need, the PDMA is exploring options for the development of a digital portal, the Poultry Disease Monitor (PD Monitor).
The portal will allow State Veterinarians and other permitted users of the system to access reports on disease incidence and prevalence nationally. Although the portal is being developed for Avian Influenza, its use will be extended to other diseases. In providing specifications for the system, the PDMA requested that the system be compatible with other relevant systems, to allow for integrated “intelligent” reporting.
I am very excited with this development as it assists my office to maintain the integrity of disease surveillance data, makes it easier for users to access the information as well as plan related activities. I hope to pilot the system by the end of the year.
Capacity development with Department of Poultry Diseases and CE@UP
Capacity development is an essential component of the PDMA strategy. Over the past few years, the PDMA has, in collaboration with the Department of Poultry Diseases and CE@UP, conducted a Poultry Disease Management Refresher Course for veterinarians.
This course has targeted veterinarians in state service to ensure they are kept abreast with developments in practices within in the discipline and poultry industry. Three poultry disease management courses were held during this year and a total of 18 veterinarians have been trained. Due to interest expressed from state veterinarians a further course is planned for the 23 October 2017.
Discussions have also been held with various provincial chief directors and directors who have welcomed initiatives aimed at identifying poultry specialists who will act as “hot seats” in each province to assist the industry on ALL Poultry related queries, as well as extension of training to Animal Health Technicians and Agricultural Extension Officers to support disease management initiatives.