First Working Group for the Animal Health Sector held in Cambodia

Cambodia

December 17, 2021
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First Working Group for the Animal Health Sector held in Cambodia

The first Working Group for the Animal Health Sector was held in Phnom Penh on December 15, 2021. The Working Group proposed a dynamic approach connecting the SEALAB project outputs and policy processes by initiating dialogue among stakeholders involved in the project implementation and decision-making.

The Working Group meetings are intended to be held on a regularly basis to bring together key stakeholders and decision makers to monitor the progress of the project and more specifically for the veterinary lab system, to develop a Laboratory National Plan and to discuss testing capacities, equipment and staffing requirements for the 5 provincial labs to be set up under World Bank project. The format was a one and half hour meeting to promote discussions and personal relationship between participants.

General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP) was represented by two Deputy Directors, Dr. Sorn San and Dr. Holl Davun, National Animal Health and Production Research Institute (NAHPRI) by the Director, Dr. Tum Sothyra, the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) by Vice-Dean, Dr. Theng Kouch and Dr. Prahors, Hung Animal Health adviser at German International Cooperation (GIZ). Unfortunately H.E. Hor Malin, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) was identified as a close contact for COVID-19 the day before the meeting confirmed her support to the working group.

SEALAB, a ‘One Health’ project, was reinforced by the participation of Dr. Sau Sokunna, Deputy Director of the Department of Hospital Services (DHS), Mrs. Boy Chansopheap, Officer at the Bureau of Medical Laboratory Services (BMLS) and Dr. Ly Sowath, Deputy Director of Institut Pasteur in Cambodia (IPC). Dr. Rong Rattana, Health Project Manager at the Australian Embassy, made several positive remarks on the implementation of the SEALAB project.

The meeting began with a presentation on the progress of the SEALAB project for the Veterinary Sector, activities planned for the upcoming months and expected outcomes. The presentation was followed by a restitution by Dr. Mardy of the gaps and recommendations from the External Quality Assessment (EQA) Veterinary Lab Assessment on Laboratory System Governance and Leadership and Laboratory Structure, Organization and Regulation. To end the meeting Dr. Holl Davun discussed the process of drafting a National Plan for Veterinary Laboratories.

The discussions were active and focused on the following subjects:

  • the quality of data and installation of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to facilitate data sharing,
  • the mandatory participation in an EQA program to prepare for accreditation
  • the sustainability of a specimen transportation system,
  • and on the principle of drafting an initial National Plan adapted to the national context, to be improved and enriched over the years.

It was agreed that the GDAHP/NAHPRI will assign a team to the critical task of drafting the Veterinary Laboratory National Plan and set up 5 provincial veterinary laboratories under the World Bank. As the development of this Plan is a process that will take a significant effort by the team, GDAHP will assess the need for financial and administrative support. The participants will analyze the proposed strategic objectives and suggest supplementary ones if necessary. Additionally all participants were asked to identify potential consultants to support the drafting the National Plan.

IQLS will help with drafting documents of the challenges, planned interventions and expected outcomes for each identified strategic objective. The Working Group will review and discuss these documents during the next six months before drafting the National Plan. The next meeting is scheduled at the end of January 2022.

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