By Henry Neondo
icipe has been designated as a Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reference centre for vectors and vector-borne animal diseases, which include tsetse flies and animal trypanosomosis as well as arthropod-transmitted viral animal pathogens.
FAO reference centres are selected by the Director-General of the organisation on the basis of their high level scientific expertise as well as their commitment to capacity building and provision of services.
The designation of icipe as a reference centre follows a thorough evaluation of its mandate, main activities and competencies. It is also based on the Centre’s extensive experience and prior collaboration with FAO.
As a reference centre, icipe will contribute in four key areas that are vital to the control of vectors and vector borne animal diseases. First, icipe will provide FAO and its members with specific, independent technical and scientific advice, as well as recommendations on interventions against these factors. Second, the centre will facilitate the identification of African trypanosomes and arthropod transmitted viral diseases, and provide advice on their ecology.
icipe’s third contribution will be in the building of the capacity of researchers in FAO member countries or in the African region, for instance through training courses, workshops and the development of technology innovation and transfer programmes.
Fourth, icipe will help to improve the performance and harmonisation of vector and disease diagnostic services, by sharing biological materials and its relevant with FAO and other reference centres.