Contributing to sustainable aquaculture development in Africa

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) and WorldFish coordinated recently a training program in aquatic animal health at the WorldFish center at Abbassa in Egypt. The program aimed at building the competence of participants to improve fish health management through diagnostics and research activities in the framework of One Health.

Aquatic Animal Health (AHA) is a NORAD-funded project to increase sustainability and resilience in the aquaculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), through improved aquatic animal health management and biosecurity governance. The WorldFish Center in Egypt has been a knowledge and innovation hub for students and professionals in aquaculture and aquatic health management. The AHA project necessitated a two weeks training in aquatic animal health management at the WorldFish center in Egypt from 16.-29. July.

Building the competence

-The training program aimed at building the competence of participants to improve fish health management and biosecurity governance in their home countries through efficient extension services, diagnostics, and research activities in the framework of one health. Therefore, The NVI and WorldFish coordinated the training program to stimulate knowledge acquisition in sampling techniques, disease diagnostic, biosecurity, vaccination, epidemiology, surveillance, aquaculture production systems, water quality management, fish genetics, nutrition, and health management, says Jacob Zornu who represented the NVI along with Edgar Brun and Saraya Tavornpanich.

Twenty-two participants from Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zambia benefited from the training program. The participants are master students, PhD students, veterinarians, and professionals in the aquaculture sector. The NVI representatives trained participants in field application of epidemiology, surveillance and biosecurity through lectures and computer practicals. Alain Le Breton, a Veterinarian from Vet’Eau in France, accompanied the NVI to lecture and give practical trainings in farm biosecurity and vaccination procedures.

Resource persons from WF were also involved to equip the participants in other training modules, particularly sampling and molecular techniques for diagnostics.

Sheer desire to learn

-The participants demonstrated a sheer desire to learn, which made the training program a two-way interaction between resource persons and the participants. The program ended with assessing participants for knowledge acquired and awarding certificates of participation. The assessment of participants was carried out through topical presentations on how the participants intend to use the knowledge acquired in their home country. Thus, this training program expects the participants to use the knowledge and skills to advance aquatic animal health management in their country for sustainable aquaculture development, adds Zornu.

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