The African Union (AU) has launched its Continental Vaccine Bank in Bishoftu – a town located 40 kilometers southeast of Addis Abeba.
The Bank, situated inside the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC), wasinaugurated by Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission on Wednesday.
The vaccine center, that hosts the Bank, currently provides international independent quality control of veterinary vaccines produced in Africa and imported to Africa and producing and distributing essential reagent for animal disease diagnosis and surveillance, among other services.
The newly inaugurated Bank will have a capacity of about 15 million doses, which the AU
officials admired as “impressive”. Faki appreciates FAO and other partners of the AU for the
support given PANVAC to facilitate its work.
PANVAC was established in 1986 to support the eradication of Rinderpest in Africa, and
became an African Union institution in 2004.
Director of AU-PANVAC, Dr. Nick Nwankpa said the center’s structures that host the Continental Vaccine Center was built a long time ago.
He said they are currently obsolete to harbor such important laboratories which have gained world recognition with its records of fighting serious epidemics such as the Rinderpest among others.
The Director said the laboratory equipment in PANVAC are of high quality and therefore needs to be displayed in a modernize venue with high qualified additional staff to ensure the sustainability of the vaccine center.
– Faki Pledges to Support –
AUC’s Chairperson Faki reiterated his commitment and that of the AUC to facilitate the
capacity building of the staff as well as ensure the structural development of the Center.
The AUC Chairperson recalled that in 2014, the Assembly of Heads of State and
Government of the AU in Malabo adopted a Declaration on the accelerated growth and
transformation of agriculture for a shared prosperity.
He noted that several programs in animal health have been launched by the Commission, and are conducted at continental level.
“Indeed, livestock is a priority detailed program of development of African agriculture aimed at increasing agricultural growth and productivity, as well as food and nutrition security” underlined the AUC Chairperson.
He said that it is in this context that the African Union has set up the Pan-African Veterinary
Vaccine Bank to ensure that the damage caused by Rinderpest will not reoccur and help eradicate other animal dismisses.
PANVAC was institutionalized under the African Union, within the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture in 2004. (Daily Monitor)