FAO, USAID Develop Liberia’s Animal Disease Surveillance Response


Monrovia – Experts representing the animal and human health sectors have developed for the first time Liberia’s Animal Disease Surveillance and Response System.

Report by Jackson F. Kanneh, [email protected]

The system will provide tangible and achievable solutions towards preventing, detecting and responding to emerging and re-emerging zoonotic economically important diseases of the country.

The exercise was a collaborative effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the Emergency Center for transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through GHSA EPT-2 global program aimed at enhancing the Animal health capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

According to FAO, the plan will help determine the burden and establish hierarchy of priority disease and geographic distribution; establish multi-sector veterinary surveillance system to improve information flow across all levels of animal health network of Liberia. 

The program will also improve and pave the way for information sharing among stakeholders on zoonotic diseases, Antimicrobic Resist stance (AMR) and other animal diseases as well as contribute to the reduction of mortality, morbidity and economic losses to human and animal.

Speaking on behalf of Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana S. flomo, the chief Veterinary Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture Joseph Anderson lauded the government of Liberia,  FAO and other partners. 

“This is remarkable for the government of Liberia and her partners, there have been a lot of improvements in human and animal health sector. We have reached a major landmark and made another history for the country with the goal of achieving a good result in the sector”, he noted.

Speaking further, he pleaded with partners to give more support to empower the Ministry respond to animal disease threat that affects food security in the country.

For his part, Dr. Abebe Wolde, ECTAD Country Team Leader, described the document as a “major accomplishment” for the government of Liberia. 

He  noted that FAO will continue to support the Ministry of Agriculture in strengthening the animal health capacity needed to conduct routine animal health services as well contribute to detecting emerging and re-emerging zoonotic disease threats.

According to Dr. Wolde, enhancing the capacity of MoA will have a positive impact on the livelihood of farmers while at the same time securing the public from zoonotic disease. 

In remarks, Dr. Charles Oliver, Head of Infectious Disease at USAID, highlighted the significance of the program. 

According to him, nearly 75% of global health threat are coming from animal to human. He, however, pledged the US government’s continues commitment in supporting the government of Liberia combat public health threat.

Speaking also, Thomas Nagbe, Director for Infectious Disease and Epidemiology at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), commanded FAO and USAID for their level of support toward the program.