On March 15, 2022, Dr. Robert Pope, Director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program at the Defense Threat Reduction Ageny, cut the ribbon to inaugurate the newly renovated National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) with an amount of $3.27 million (1.845 billion Francs CFA).
Concurrently, Paul Richardson, the Country Representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officially donated laboratory equipment and supplies worth $340,000 (192 million Francs CFA), provided by USAID through the Emerging Pandemic Threats program implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In his remarks, Dr. Robert Pope declared that “today, we are demonstrating the excellent coordination and work of two United States agencies, DTRA and USAID”. He also thanked Dr. Wade, Director General of LANAVET, and his staff for their hard work, declaring that “we view Cameroon as a regional leader and strategic partner in improving animal health and health security in Africa. Building a cohesive laboratory network for Cameroon will improve national disease surveillance capacities across the country, enabling earlier detection and quicker response to disease outbreaks. It will save lives”.
The Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA), Dr. Taiga, the Resident Representative of the FAO in Cameroon, Dr. Athman Mravili, the Director General of LANAVET, Dr. Abel Wade, also participated in the event. Dr. Taiga expressed gratitude to the U.S. Government and declared that the Government of the Republic of Cameroon will continue working to prevent livestock diseases and zoonotic diseases for the well-being of the population. The United States is committed to supporting Cameroon with its response to public health challenges and to rapidly detect, diagnose and surveil dangerous pathogens.
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