General Santos City. Animal and human health concerns in Region 12 will soon be easily addressed with the inauguration of renovated and improved laboratory as well as facilities of the Department of Agriculture 12 (DA 12).
The new Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) of the DA 12 located here was inaugurated on June 04, 2018 to unravel concerns such as enhancing prevention, detection, treatment and eradication of zoonotic diseases, and human transmission.
This project was implemented under the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) of the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (US-DTRA), proposed by the DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards.
Lance Brooks, the Program Director of CBEP, and Dr. Ronnie Domingo, the OIC-Director of the DA-BAI, were the guests-of-honor during the inauguration rite. They were also joined by the delegates from the US-DTRA, the top management of the DA 12 and local officials.
DA 12 Regional Executive Director Milagros Casis said that this project aligns fully with the priorities set out in the vision of the DA, specifically, to develop national laboratories and regional integrated agricultural laboratories.
“This project is in line with the prescription of the Department Order 4, Series of 2017 entitled Department Policy on Rationalizing and Strengthening DA National and Regional Laboratory Services,” she said.
Casis added that the project could surely prevent outbreaks involving animal diseases which not only have negative impacts in the agricultural production but also on the exposure of humans to zoonotic pathogens as this pose direct threats to human health.
Meanwhile, Director Brooks noted that the project is a defense against the increasing number of severe risks from animal diseases set to occur in the Asia-Pacific Region.
“The reported cases could occur either as epidemic or endemic not only in your country but also across national boundaries and territories,” the foreign official added.
The inauguration was just part of the P230-Million Enhancement of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Capabilities at the DA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories which also covers the construction of new facilities and improvement of labs of RADDLs in Regions 2, 3, 7, 10, and 11, and as well the lab at the DA-BAI in Quezon City.
The project components included the construction and renovation, provision of laboratory and IT equipment, supplies for sustaining capacities for disease diagnosis, and training for lab personnel.
In the country, routine and primary diagnosis is performed at the RADDLs. (CULAguillon)