On 19 January 2021, the OIE and the University of Liverpool (UoL) organised a joint webinar to officially announce the launch of the multi-year, multi-partner Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) programme
. The event introduced GBADs’ work and vision through interventions from the GBADs Programme Director, Professor Jonathan Rushton; the UoL’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer; and OIE Director General, Dr Monique Éloit. This open webinar – with over 300 participants – aimed to engage a wider community of stakeholders by communicating on the importance, urgency and relevance of GBADs.
A press release was published following the event and a recording of the webinar is available.
A tool to achieve evidence-based animal health decision-making
Building on more than 30 years’ experience in the economics of animal health, Professor Rushton, along with various animal health experts and researchers, has been spearheading discussions around the need to apply a socio-economic and environmental lens when analysing the impact of animal diseases on livestock production, livelihoods, nutrition and human well-being. The challenges posed by the emergence or re-emergence of diseases affecting animal and human welfare can only be addressed by adopting a systematic approach and ensuring adequate resource allocation to the Veterinary Services that sustain the animal health system. GBADs will act in complementarity with other OIE datasets and workstreams, such as the OIE Training Platform, PVS Pathway and OIE Observatory, with the aim of becoming an essential piece of a bigger digital transformation and service offering to OIE Members. It will recognise standards, countries and diseases as core referential data, linking to the economic data collected by GBADs. The GBADs programme is a global endeavour, made possible through strong partnership and inspired by a willingness to use cutting-edge research to inform public policy-making and improve the lives of millions by contributing to a world in which the Sustainable Development Goals of Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Responsible Consumption and Production have been achieved.
Continuous advocacy for GBADs
In 2018, the signing of a formal letter of intent between the UoL and the OIE enabled the launch of a partnership that led to the operationalisation of GBADs. Thanks to the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, GBADs partners – the UoL, the OIE and eight additional academic and institutional partners actively committed to GBADs since its onset – managed to secure US$ 7 million to commence the pilot phase spanning from August 2020 to December 2022. Further sources of support were received recently, including from the European Union, the Brooke Foundation and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. GBADs partners will continue to seek funding to widen GBADs’ reach in other regions and sectors, enhance interdisciplinary scientific capacity, expand its network of collaborators, and gain larger buy-in and commitment for the use of its methodology by 2030.
If you are interested in the work of GBADs and would like to apply to be a collaborator, sign up here.
◼ OIE News – February 2021