|Upgrade of proposed subregional animal health laboratory for Fiji completed|
|Friday, 10 June 2011 12:53|
The Fiji Veterinary Pathology Laboratory located at Koronivia,in Fiji, was formally reopened on the 21 April 2011 after a short closure for renovations. The occasion was marked with a small handover ceremony, celebrating the completion of the laboratory upgrade undertaken by the Animal Health and Production Services of the Fiji Ministry of Primary Industries. The work was supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project (PRIPPP), funded by AusAID and the New Zealand Aid Programme. The Fiji government invested approximately FJD 200,000 for the refurbishment of the laboratory buildings and another FJD 200,000 for the procurement of a new incinerator. PRIPPP assisted through procurement of new laboratory equipment amounting to FJD 245,000.
Fiji was earlier identified by the Pacific Heads of Veterinary and Animal Production Services (PHOVAPS) as an appropriate location for one of three proposed Level 2 subregional animal health (AH) laboratories to be set up for the Pacific region to facilitate more efficient diagnostic services for the animal health sector. It is proposed that the Fiji lab provide assistance in conducting diagnostic testing for animal specimens from nearby PICTs.
The other Level 2 subregional animal health laboratories were set up in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and in Guam. The upgrade of the animal health laboratory in PNG, now called the National Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory, situated in Kila Kila, Port Moresby, was completed in 2009 in partnership with the PNG National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA). The Level 2 laboratory in Guam was also recently completed, in close collaboration with the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Guam in Mangilao.
Diagnostic testing utilising the new facilities at the Fiji Veterinary Pathology Laboratory commenced on the 26 April, supporting the surveillance and eradication of brucellosis in dairy cattle in Fiji. New project funding to support active surveillance will be critical to running and maintaining the newly established facilities in the region.
Pacific Animal Health Laboratory Network (PAHLNet)