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Gambia promotes GIS-based epidemiology surveillance

Gambia: The US department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of agriculture, Animal Health and Production Services Department, Gambia organised five day international training course, Spatial Epidemiology, in Kerr Serign, Gambia. 
According to the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Shiriffo Bojang, there is a need to strengthen epidemiological surveillance using of GIS. Epidemiological data collection and processing is a fundamental prerequisite for effective disease surveillance, prevention and control. 
Bojang said that trans-boundary animal disease (TAD), like Avian Influenza posses a real threat to the lives of millions of people around the world to both economy and human health. He further stressed that it is cognizant that the Gambia committed itself to harmonise, coordinate and partnership building approach as the most effective way in dealing with these disease.
He expressed hope that this training would contribute significantly to the building of national capacities to be able to respond effectively to the threats of TADs as well as the countries in the sub-region, dealing with these disease. 
The American Ambassador in Gambia, Pamela White observed developing such training course on “Spatial Epidemiology “contributes to strengthen countries’ capacities to monitor, survey, report and also rapidly respond to animal disease threats by using GPS and GIS tools. She noted that developing programmes for early warning, prevention, monitoring or control of major trans-boundary animal disease (TADs) for significant economic and health importance, require availability of reliable information produced on the basis of field data properly collected and analysed. Therefore she said data integration, analysis and mapping facilitate a better understanding of the distribution and evolution of disease and also present a good support to develop appropriate strategies for early warning, monitoring and control of major trans-boundary diseases, TADs.
Source: Forayaa