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Guyana tests readiness for bird flu

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  • Guyana tests readiness for bird flu

    Guyana tests readiness for bird flu

    Published on Thursday, August 2, 2007

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA): The government of Guyana will be hosting an emergency animal disease simulation exercise on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) know as Bird Flu on August 7-9 2007.

    Guyana's Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud
    The exercise seeks to test Guyana?s preparedness to respond should there be an outbreak of the disease.

    Ministers of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, and Agriculture, Robert Persaud, made the announcement on Wednesday.

    ?I want to make it clear that there is not an outbreak or any signs of it in the country. We just want to test how we will respond, supposing there is one,? Ramsammy said.

    The simulation exercise is being executed by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture with assistance from by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and several other bodies including the private sector.

    Guyana is the second country in the region to be conducting the exercise. The first was held in Jamaica while the third will be held in St. Lucia. International observers from the United States of America Civil Defence Commission, the Dominican Republic, Belize and Suriname will be monitoring the situation very closely.

    Persaud said the exercise is meant to evaluate the national capability of the Government to manage an outbreak or any other exotic disease in the country. It will enable the veterinary services division and its partners to identify and improve its emergency preparedness plan.

    ?In an effort to support the activities of the Avian Influenza Committee, the Ministry has a fully staffed and functional poultry laboratory which is jointly managed by the Guyana Poultry Producers Association to conduct routine tests and monitor the disease status of the local poultry industry,? Persaud said.

    While reiterating that there is no outbreak of the disease, the exercise is to ensure the security and sustainability of the poultry industry.

    The executing committee calls for the cooperation and support of all relevant bodies during the exercise.

    Meanwhile persons in the Laluni area have been informed and the area has been chosen since it has a relatively small population and will allow the execution to be undertaken in a smooth manner.

    The Ministries of Health and Agriculture will however, continue to collaborate to host this and similar exercises with the Guyana Poultry Producers Associations, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the United States Agency for International Development, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations and Inter- American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).

  • #2
    Re: Guyana tests readiness for bird flu

    Successful Bird Flu simulation exercise indicates Guyana?s preparedness

    Successful Bird Flu simulation exercise indicates Guyana?s preparedness

    Georgetown, GINA, August 09, 2007.

    The recently concluded Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) simulation exercise has been deemed a success by all participants, both local and international, and represents Guyana?s level of preparedness to deal with a possible outbreak.
    At a press conference today at the Ministry of Agriculture boardroom, Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud said several areas of strengths were identified including the willingness and enthusiasm of all agencies that participated, coordination among the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Guyana Police and Defence Forces, the Fire Service and the role of the international organisations that were involved. These were highlighted during a debriefing session held earlier today and which brought closure to the three-day simulation exercise.

    Several recommendations were also made to ensure that the exercise serve as a means of constant enhancement of Guyana?s preparedness such as the need for the data collection sheets to be redesigned, more staff training, continuous training of laboratory and field staff and more integrated management of resources to deal with any disease outbreak. Although the weaknesses identified during the simulation exercise would not impede the situation should there be an outbreak, arrangements are already being put in place to develop a Plan of Action to address the recommendations.

    He noted that some areas have been recognised and efforts are ongoing to strengthen these inclduing upgrading of the recently established Guyana Veterinary Services Laboratory and plans to establish a modern veterinary laboratory at Mon Repos under the Agricultural Diversification Initiative.
    The Minister pointed out that the simulation exercise will be documented and made available to staff associated with animal health and to farmers so that they can be prepared to deal with an actual outbreak, should there be any.

    He further commended the participants in the event and who contributed to its success. The simulation exercise was organized by the Ministries of Agriculture and Health with support from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).


    • #3
      Re: Guyana tests readiness for bird flu

      <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Guyana prepared in event of bird flu outbreak -Ramsammy

      </HBE_IFL>Friday, August 10th 2007
      </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> <TABLE cellSpacing=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5></TD><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle></TD></TR><TR><TD class=caption>Part of the bird flu simulation exercise. (GINA photo) </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy said based on a simulated exercise to an outbreak of bird flu, conducted at Laluni, Soesdyke/Linden Highway on Wednesday, the country is prepared should there be such an occurrence.
      According to a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) Ramsammy said he was confident that Guyana would be able to adequately contain the situation had there been a real outbreak. "A number of weaknesses … were identified and we will be working on this to further boost our systems in preparing for a real situation," he said. The minister commended the participants for their execution, "I must note that the Security Forces did extremely well in containing the situation," he said, adding that "They took every measure necessary to ensure the exercise was successful."
      The minister said government will inform the citizenry on measures that are in place to handle the situation should an outbreak occurs. "We would have conducted round-the-clock monitoring, not just in the reported community but all the communities in the country through the various health institutions for any unusual levels of Influenza-related cases," he said.

      GINA said the five-hour exercise was carried out with the collaboration of several agencies, including the health and agriculture ministries and the Pan American Health Organisation. A detailed report indicating the areas that need to be strengthened will be released shortly while measures to address identified weaknesses will be developed. Several observers said they were satisfied with the exercise, particularly with the health response and the co-operation the community displayed.

      </TD><TD width=5></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>