Organizacion Mundial de Sanidad Animal

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El papel de los veterinarios privados y del personal paraprofesional en la prestación de servicios de sanidad animal

The OIE ad hoc Group on the role of private veterinarians and para-professionals in the provision of animal health services held its first meeting at the OIE Headquarters from 10-11 February 2003. Members of the ad hoc Group were from the public and private sectors, from Africa, the EU, South America and South-East Asia. The participation of Dr Herbert Schneider, President of the World Veterinary Association should particularly be mentioned.

The creation of the ad hoc Group came as a result of requests and recommendations of various OIE Regional Commissions asking the OIE to address the issue of the utilisation of private veterinarians and various categories of para-professionals by veterinary services, particularly in Member Countries where veterinary services may be under organisational or financial pressure which could damage the quality of their performances.

The ad hoc Group's terms of reference were to define the functions and responsibilities of private veterinarians and para professionals in providing animal health services and to provide guidance regarding the necessary linkages to improve the quality of veterinary services in OIE Member Countries.

In his welcoming statement, the Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat, recalled the commitment made by the OIE and other various international organisations at Doha regarding capacity building in developing countries. “The inclusion of private veterinarians and para-professionals needs to be carefully done to ensure that confidence in countries' ability to trade safety in animals and animal products is not lost by trading partners” - he said – “and the standards developed must be applicable to all Member Countries of the OIE”.

The ad hoc Group recommended that, in order to strengthen animal health and veterinary public health services through improved involvement of private veterinarians and para-professionals, including CAHW (Community based animal health workers), Veterinary Administrations build official linkages with service providers, particularly individual veterinarians and veterinary associations, but also with individual para-professionals, non-governmental organisations and farmers' groups. The Group recommended that linkages between Veterinary Administrations and private veterinarians and para-professionals take the form of contracts for the provision of specific services such as disease monitoring and surveillance, animal vaccination, food inspection, and disease control. 

The ad hoc Group also recommended that the supply of veterinary medicines and biologicals which might impact on international trade (through residues and antimicrobials or insecticides) be significantly tightened.

The OIE believes that the recommendations arising from this meeting are very valuable and provide a sound basis for better including these professional groups in the activities of veterinary services of Member Countries and for making improvements to the OIE International Standards in order to better guarantee the safety of the international trade of animals and animal products.

The report of the ad hocGroup will be submitted to the next meeting of the Code Commission before examination by the International Committee in May 2004 for adoption.

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