Rahul Srivastava co-organised the Regional Workshop on Strengthening Veterinary Services through PPPs held at Bahrain during 11-13 July 2023 and he shares his experience here.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as a powerful mechanism to address global challenges across various sectors, including veterinary healthcare. Recognising the potential of PPPs in the veterinary domain, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Sub-Regional Representation for the Arabian Gulf, in partnership with the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Bahrain, organised a 3-day Regional Workshop in Manama from 11 to 13 July 2023. The workshop brought together 13 countries from the Arabian Gulf and surrounding regions to explore and discuss the potential of PPPs in veterinary services. The event aimed to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors to strengthen animal health, food safety, disease control, and workforce development.
The regional workshop witnessed active participation from thirteen countries, showcasing the widespread interest and commitment to enhancing veterinary services through PPPs. The participating nations were Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Somalia, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, and Qatar. The diversity of attendees reflected a collective dedication to address the shared challenges and opportunities in animal health across borders, and to foster regional cooperation.
EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF PPP
The main purpose of the workshop was to explore the potential of PPPs in various critical areas of the veterinary domain. Participants engaged in comprehensive discussions and knowledge-sharing sessions on topics such as:
- Food Safety: Ensuring the safety and quality of animal products is vital for public health and international trade. PPPs can play a pivotal role in establishing robust food safety measures and regulatory frameworks.
- Transboundary Disease Control: Transboundary animal diseases pose significant threats to livestock and human populations alike. Collaborative efforts through PPPs can enhance surveillance, early detection, and coordinated responses to control such diseases effectively.
- Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR): AMR is a global health concern, and the veterinary sector plays a critical role in combating it. PPPs can promote responsible anti-microbial use and support research and development of alternative therapies.
- Quarantine and Trade: Facilitating safe and smooth trade of animals and animal products requires efficient quarantine protocols and cross-border collaborations that PPPs can help establish.
- Workforce Development: Strengthening the veterinary workforce through training, capacity-building programs, and knowledge exchange is essential for ensuring sustained progress in the sector. PPPs can contribute towards enhancing the capabilities of veterinary professionals.
Participants discuss PPP opportunities in the veterinary field with PVS expert Dr Ahmed El Idrissi and PPP Project Manager Dr Rahul Srivastava from WOAH.
LEARNING AND EMPOWERMENT
The Workshop provided a platform for attendees to learn about identifying PPP needs, developing robust business cases, and effectively implementing and evaluating PPP initiatives. Experts in the field shared success stories, best practices, and case studies that served as valuable examples for potential PPP projects in various countries. Participants gained insights into the challenges and solutions, funding mechanisms, and legal frameworks that govern successful PPPs in the veterinary domain.
COLLABORATION FOR A BETTER FUTURE
One of the key takeaways from the Workshop was the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in advancing veterinary services. PPPs enable governments, international organisations, and private enterprises to pool resources, expertise, and innovation for the greater good. By fostering meaningful partnerships, countries in the Arabian Gulf and beyond can overcome shared challenges and capitalise on opportunities to improve animal health, food security, and public health.
Group exercise to better understand the various aspects of PPP project development, implementation, and evaluation.
This Regional Workshop on Public-Private Partnerships in the veterinary domain, proved to be a significant step towards strengthening veterinary services in the region. Through active participation and knowledge sharing, thirteen countries explored the potential of PPPs in critical areas such as food safety, disease control, AMR, quarantine, trade, and workforce development. The event emphasized the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors so as to achieve lasting positive impact on animal health and human well-being. As the participants return to their respective countries, the spirit of cooperation and shared goals will undoubtedly continue to drive transformative changes in the veterinary domain.
For further information about PPPs in the veterinary domain and the efforts of WOAH in enhancing partnership capabilities of both public and private stakeholders on a global scale, kindly visit the following link: Public-Private Partnerships in the veterinary domain (woah.org) and contact:
Rahul Srivastava, Public-Private Partnership Project Manager, World Organisation for Animal Health, 12, Rue de Prony, 75017 Paris, France. He can be reached at (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)