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FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease:Dissmination of FAO News Article

The News Article entitled,”FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease” will be very helpful for the banana farmers and plant pathologists and extensionists of agricultural agencies for information and awareness creation.Hence is has been published in this website for further dissemination and awareness creation. .The News Article may be accessed at the following link:  http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/223409/icode/

 

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease

Following its spread to Africa and the Middle East, Fusarium wilt TR4 increases the risks to livelihoods and banana markets

Photo: ©FAO/Fazil Dusunceli

Diseased banana plants.

14 April 2014, Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt, which recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and which has the potential to affect countries in Latin America.

The TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions for the banana value chain and livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief.

Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOSTAT, the UN agency’s  data-gathering and analysis service.

“Any disease or constraint that affects bananas is striking at an important source of food, livelihoods, employment and government revenues in many tropical countries,” said Gianluca Gondolini, Secretary of the World Banana Forum. The Forum, whose Secretariat is based at FAO headquarters, promotes sustainable banana production and trade.

“The spread of Fusarium wilt banana disease could have a significant impact on growers, traders and families who depend on the banana industry,” Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, said. “Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world’s banana crop,” said Dusunceli.

Recommended action

At the country level, FAO specifically advises:

  • Awareness raising at all levels and adoption of appropriate risk assessment, surveillance and early warning systems;
  • Implementation of phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the disease through agricultural practices, irrigation and drainage systems, transportation, vehicles, containers, tools or visitors;
  • Preventive measures, including quarantines, the use of disease-free planting materials, prevention of movement of infected soil and planting materials into and out of farms, and disinfection of vehicles;
  • Capacity building in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) in planning, extension and research, including the use of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools;
  • Training of technical officers, producers and farm workers in disease identification, prevention and management under field conditions, and appropriate instructions to visitors.

While other races of the disease have existed for many years, TR4 has caused significant losses in banana plantations in Southeast Asia over the last two decades, and has recently been reported in Mozambique and Jordan.

TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets. Despite damage to the banana plant and to production, the fruit itself remains edible.

Soil-borne disease

Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc). The disease is soil-borne and the fungus can remain viable for decades.  Once the disease is present in a field, it cannot be fully controlled by currently available practices and fungicides. The best way to fight the disease is to prevent its spread, which includes avoiding movement of diseased plant materials and infected soil particles.

“We need to raise awareness of this threat, coordinate efforts among countries and institutions for effective implementation of appropriate quarantine measures, and also work with banana producers, traders, plantation employees and smallholder farmers to help to minimize the spread of the disease,” Dusunceli said. He also highlighted the importance of research in better understanding the disease and developing alternative varieties that are disease resistant.

FAO’s information note stresses the importance of using disease-free seedlings and avoiding movement of infected soil and planting materials into, and out of, farms, through transportation, visitors or other means.

“A concerted effort is required from stakeholders including the industry, research institutions, governments and international organizations to prevent spread of the disease,” the note reads.

Raising awareness

FAO and its partners, including the World Banana Forum (WBF), the scientific community and the banana industry are among those making efforts to increase awareness of the inherent threat of TR4.

The issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

The banana crop is vulnerable to a number of diseases in various parts of the world, including the Black Sigatoka disease, Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) and Fusarium Wilt, but Fusarium’s soil-borne nature makes it especially challenging.

 

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh(ICDDR,B):Symbol of Hope – By Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin

It was not very long ago when thousands of peoples would die of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases helplessly without proper treatment.The scenario changed dramatically when International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) was established in Dhaka.The research, motivation and dissemination activities of this international health research organization has now become the Symbol of Hope for the peoples of the whole world who are vulnerable to diarrhoeal diseases.
This international health research institution is located at Mahakhali area of Dhaka. The centre provides treatment to thousands of patients around the year.The centre organizes special camps for intervention when outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases take place. The patients and their well wishers have great trust upon the quality of service of this organization.
In collaboration with academic and research institutions throughout the world, ICDDR,B conducts research, training and extension activities, as well as programme-based activities, to develop and share knowledge for global lifesaving solutions.
ICDDR,B has a mix of national and international staff, including public health scientists, laboratory scientists, clinicians, nutritionists, epidemiologists, demographers, social and behavioural scientists, IT professionals, and experts in emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and vaccine sciences. The Centre has a cross-cultural environment. This Centre provides ideal working condition for genders where women feel secure .
Since 1978, the Centre has shared its knowledge with the world, training more than 27,000 health professionals from over 78 countries. Courses provide practical training in topics such as hospital management of diarrhoeal diseases, epidemiology, biostatistics, family planning, demographic surveillance and child survival strategies. At present three training programmes are being organized regularly by this centre.The programmes are:
1.Introductory Course on Epidemiology and Biostatistics;
2.Introductory Course on Qualitative Research Methodology;and
3.Biosafety and Biosecurity Training Programme

ICDDR,B regulary organizes an annual event called Annual Scientific Conference (ASCON) each year.The 13th ASCON was held during 14-17 March 2011 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel,Dhaka with the theme “Science to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage”.Over the course of three days, the conference provided an opportunity for the 800 scientists, health professionals, programme managers, community organisers and policy-makers who have registered to meet and discuss this important issue. To share their countries’ experiences with universal health coverage, speakers have come from countries as far as South Africa, South America, Europe, as well as South and South East Asia.You
may learn about this important event from the following link:http://www.icddrb.org/media-centre/news/2232-icddrbs-13th-annual-scientific-conference-ascon-xiii-starts-in-full-swing
ICDDR,B’s activities are supported by about 55 donor countries and organizations, including the Government of Bangladesh, UN specialized agencies, foundations, universities, research institutes and private sector organizations and companies that share the Centre’s concern for the health problems of developing countries and value its proven experience in helping solve those problems. The Centre is governed by a distinguished multinational Board of Trustees comprising 17 members from around the globe.
The simple and cheap treatment procedures developed by ICDDR,B has been considered as a blessing for the poor peoples of the developing countries where diarrhoeal diseases pose great threats.The services of ICDDRB has become a Symbol of Hope for the poor peoples of the world.
There are numerous activities undertaken by ICDDR,B.You can learn some of them from this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5OLddc9zjs

Update on ICDDR’B Training Programme on 16 May 2012

http://www.icddrb.org/train-with-us/current-courses/event/461-introductory-course-on-epidemiology-and-biostatistics

Introductory Course on Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Hosted by: ICDDR,B

Date: 24 Jun 12 to 19 Jul 12

Location: Seminar Room-1, Sasakawa International Training Centre, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Introduction
The scientific arena today is largely evidence based and relies heavily on numbers or quantities. An inquisitive mind always needs skills to organise quantitative measurements in meaningful ways and place those against the context for better understanding. Connecting and weighing the understanding through a recognized paradigm consequently lead to generation of new knowledge or strengthening the already known ones with evidences. The course on epidemiology and biostatistics aims at equipping a new researcher with the basic skill of dealing with the quantitative measurements that would lead to those evidences.

http://www.icddrb.org/images/siteimagery/TrainWithUs/Courses/training-1.jpg

Course Description
The main objective of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of basic concepts of epidemiology and skills in quantitative techniques to plan design and undertake basic epidemiological studies on specific health problems. It is also expected that after completion of the course participants would understand scientific articles better.

In addition to theoretical, case studies and practical exercises, the participants are given hands on training on the use of PC to transform data into information through basic analysis using software such as Epi info and SPSS. The participants are also required to develop and present research proposals in groups.

Course content

Epidemiology

Concepts in epidemiology
Basic tools of measurements in epidemiology
Overview of epidemiological study designs
Literature search including demonstration and referencing using EndNote
Cross sectional study design
Case-control study design
Prospective study design
Estimation of risk and 95% confidence intervals
Clinical trial design
Outbreak investigation
Screening and evaluation of diagnostic test
Standardization for rates
Bias in epidemiological studies
Questionnaire development and data collection
Concept of causality
Protocol development
Ethical issues in research
Critical review and scientific writing

Biostatistics

Concept, scope and uses of statistics
Measures of central tendency and dispersion
Normal probability curve: concept, properties and use
Sampling, sampling distribution, sampling error, standard error and confidence interval
Test of hypothesis: t-test and z-test
Chi-square test of independence
Correlation and regression
ANOVA and logistic regression
Non parametric tests
Sample size calculation
Use of P.C.: Epi-Info 3.5 and SPSS (Basics)

Duration
Four weeks. Sessions are normally conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on all week days (Sunday through Thursday). But at times it may continue beyond this. A substantial amount of reading and preparatory work will be necessary during evenings and on week-ends.

Faculty members
The course is largely taught by the faculty from ICDDR, B.

Teaching methods
The course includes lectures, discussions, case studies, exercises and computer sessions. In addition, participants develop and present research proposals as a group exercise. There will be a test before and after the course, intended primarily as a tool for participants to assess their own progress.

Training materials
Comprehensive hand-outs are given to the participants as well as a CD that contains Epi-Info 3.5.

Target group
Medical graduates or Master’s in biological/health sciences or social sciences are eligible for the course. No previous formal training in epidemiology or statistics is required.

Number of participants
It is intended to accept a maximum of 18 participants.

Course fee
The course fee for the locals is Tk. 10000 (Taka Ten Thousand) for the individual and Tk.15000 (Taka Fifteen Thousand) for the institutional Participants and for international participants the course fee will be US $ 500 to cover the cost of training materials, faculty time, morning and afternoon tea/coffee, and certificate of participation. However, travel costs, medical insurance, other meals and accommodation are not included in the course fee. The course fee is payable on notification of acceptance preferably by wire transfer or bank draft in favour of icddr,b (bank details will be provided with acceptance letter). Admission will be confirmed only when the fee is received.

Selection of participants
In general, participants will be selected based on their pre-requisite qualifications and first come first serve basis, however, institutional and female participant will get preference. Only selected participants will be notified by email or over telephone.

How to apply
Please fill in the downloadable application form and send it to Dr. Md. Manirul Islam at [email protected] on or before the day 3 weeks prior to the course starts. Applications should accompany a CV and employed persons should apply through their employer.

Further Information
Please contact:
Technical Training Unit
Phone: +880-2-8860523-32
Email:[email protected]

Downloads

Bio-data sheet of 50th.doc