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Delegates in an auditorium listening to 3 speakers sat at a table in front of 3 video screens Delegates in an auditorium listening to 3 speakers sat at a table in front of 3 video screens

01 Jul 2016

Recognizing Threats and Building Bridges to Solutions

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Executive Director, International Veterinary Health

Today we look at new developments in Bluetongue and Lumpy Skin disease, reports from Partners in Rabies Prevention and the OIE General Session, MSD Student Award and some vital work with Mission Rabies.

Breaking News – Bluetongue

Recognising the re-emerging threat of Bluetongue serotype 8 in Europe, MSD Animal Health is investigating how best to support farmers under threat of the disease. We are pleased to announce that we have now entered into an agreement with CZ Veterinaria S.A. to distribute their BTV8 and BTV4 vaccines in Northern Europe. The first countries to benefit from this will be the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. The vaccine is expected to be available in mid-July.

Lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy Skin Disease has been spreading further in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. We are working hard to support those countries affected, and are responding as quickly as possible to the increased demand for vaccine. The more notice we have of needs, the easier it is for us to plan, so please contact us if you think you may require vaccine.

Partners for Rabies Prevention

Large building on top of a hill surrounded by trees and smaller buildings
Wolfsberg Conference Centre
Hilltop view looking down at green fields, trees and a stretch of water
View from Wolfsberg

The UBS conference centre at Wolfsberg, Switzerland played host to the 9th Partners for Rabies Prevention meeting in May. The agenda was built around the five pillars of rabies elimination (socio-cultural, technical, organizational, political, and resources) developed last year at the WHO/OIE/FAO meetings in Geneva. Organised by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), the meeting brings together a wide range of participants, including the WHO, OIE, FAO, WHO/OIE rabies collaborating centres, non-profit organisations, research institutes, global foundations, and private industry. This mix allows us to fully explore some of the barriers to the elimination of rabies and develop solutions as a team working toward one goal. As ever with these meetings, the dinners together were as valuable as the formal talks, as new ideas were discussed and networks forged.

OIE General Session

Delegates in an auditorium listening to 3 speakers sat at a table in front of 3 video screens
OIE General Session
3 Speakers sat at a table in front of a large projected slide

John Atkinson from MSD Animal Health, UK attended the 84th General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates. One of the main topics of discussion was antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and although progress is being made through a variety of initiatives, there was a clear message that awareness needs to be raised globally at every level. The OIE employs several tools to support good governance, a lack of which leads to illegal imports and counterfeiting, and ultimately residues and AMR.

Several diseases featured prominently, including PPR. The delegation was urged to keep moving forward with eradication, which follows a similar pathway process as that for FMD. FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease also featured in the presentations, with much work being done on the relevant disease chapters of the Terrestrial Manual, together with a draft chapter on vaccination. Rabies was another key focus, and feedback from the recent WHO/OIE Conference in Geneva highlighted that access to high quality vaccines is a central issue, and that widespread vaccination of dogs is very effective at reducing disease in humans.

Mission Rabies in Malawi

Marta Nowak, our Tenders Manager, spent two weeks helping with the Mission Rabies vaccination campaign in Blantyre, Malawi. This was a great opportunity to experience a campaign first hand, leading to a better understanding of the challenges faced by those conducting vaccination programmes. Marta recounts her experiences in the “Focus On…” section of this edition. We are proud to continue our support of Mission Rabies, which includes supplying rabies vaccines.

Boxes of empty vaccine bottles
Empty bottles post-vaccination

MSD Animal Health Student Award for Excellence in Tropical Animal Health Research

There were a number of entries for the MSD Animal Health Student Award at the “Tropical Animal Diseases and Veterinary Public Health: Joining Forces to Meet Global Future Challenges” conference jointly organized by AITVM and STVM in September 4-8, 2016 in Berlin. It was difficult making a final decision as the quality of the applicants was excellent, but we have now selected the winner. The award will help the successful applicant attend the conference to present their paper on FMD modelling.

You can register for the conference here.

Moving Day

By the time you read this, I will have completed my move from our offices in Boxmeer, Netherlands to our headquarters in Madison, New Jersey. Marta Nowak, Tenders Manager, and Chanty Toenders, Process Manager, will remain at our Boxmeer site, as this is a logistical hub. From there they can keep a good eye on your orders to ensure a timely delivery. However, by relocating to New Jersey, I can ensure our alignment with the different divisions in MSD Animal Health and find new ways to improve our service to you.

Executive Director, International Veterinary Health