Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The 13th PATTEC coordinators meeting reviews progress made in the implementation of tsetse control programs in 2014.
 2014 Harare, Zimbabwe – With a view to reviewing the progresses made in the implementation of national tsetse control programs, key players in the fight against T&T have gathered in Harare, Zimbabwe for the 13th PATTEC coordinators meeting happening from 24-27 November 2014.
“The conference will provide a unique opportunity to the 120 delegates involved in tsetse and trypanosomiasis research and control in Africa to meet and share experiences, share best practices to boost implementation, identify global problems and find lasting solutions to these problems,” said Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Dr. Joseph M Made (MP) while officiating the 13th PATTEC Coordinators/Focal Points Meeting underway at HICC, Harare. 
“Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis problem remains one of Africa’s greatest constraints to socio-economic development, severely affecting human and livestock health, limiting land use, causing food insecurity and poverty, and perpetuating underdevelopment on the continent.”
In his opening statement at the annual event, Dr. Hassane Mahamat Hassane, AU-PATTEC Coordinator mentioned the reason behind selecting this year’s host country, saying “The choice of Zimbabwe to host the meetings was not done arbitrarily.  Zimbabwe is one the few countries which have registered significant successes in the fight against the scourge of tsetse and trypanosomosis (T&T) on the African continent.” 
In the last 30 – 40 years, Zimbabwe using mainly its own resources and that of relevant partners, which supported the country, managed to eradicate Tsetse from more than 170 000 km2, the coordinator said, adding “Only 28 000 kmtsetse infested areas mainly in the national parks remained to be cleared.  Those areas remain the source of the new re-emergence of Rhodesiense HAT and need to be freed of Tsetse.” 
The PATTEC National Coordinators/Focal Points’ meeting is an annual event that brings together key players in the fight against T&T to review progress, share lessons learned and formulate strategies that are designed to address identified challenges. 
This year’s National Coordinators/Focal Points meeting is unique in that it coincides with the Year of Agriculture and Food Security.