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SUDAN - USAID - Monitoring Avian Influenza

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  • SUDAN - USAID - Monitoring Avian Influenza

    USAID Sudan
    Monthly Update - July 2007

    Monitoring Avian Influenza

    Since the current wave of the H5N1 virus — or avian influenza (AI) — broke out in Hong Kong in February 2005, the disease has spread to more than 50 other countries, and resulted in 172 human deaths. Sudan officially confirmed its first cases of AI in April 2006 in large poultry farms in Khartoum, and in August 2006 in one backyard shelter in Juba. More than 1.5 million chickens were culled as a result, but no human cases in Sudan have yet been detected.

    The cases in Juba prompted the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to establish the AI Task Force, with support from USAID. Co-chaired by Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, the Task Force was charged with developing a preparedness and response plan and ensuring effective coordination of AI activities. It has formed three subcommittees — human health, animal health, and communication — to ensure rapid and effective prevention and control measures, particularly in high-risk areas.

    In May, USAID supported a workshop in Rumbek to educate community mobilizers drawn from all the 10 Southern States on basic facts of AI and the essential principles of communication and social mobilization. Twenty-three people attended the workshop, which included presentations, discussions, case studies, and role-playing exercises to facilitate training. At the end of the workshop, the participants drafted an AI social mobilization and communication workplan for each state tailored to address specific regional needs. The plans include activities that advocate on the public health importance of AI and solicit resources that will allow them to raise awareness on AI prevention and control. Over the next three months, USAID will collaborate with other members of the Task Force to support the implementation of the work plans produced at the meeting.

    Since the initial occurrence of AI was reported in Sudan, USAID has been working with the GOSS on several fronts to mitigate the virus’s effects. In addition to the support provided on the development of the preparedness and response plan, USAID has donated to the GOSS 1,600 sets of personal protective equipment and 1,000 decontamination kits, and trained more than 40 staff members of Juba Teaching Hospital on AI prevention and treatment.
    ...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. - Sherlock Holmes