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News & features archive, 2010

FAO supports avian influenza trainings in Eastern Europe

07 December 2010 - Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) from 2004 to 2010 have affected animal and human health through mortality and morbidity. The continued occurrence of outbreaks across Eastern Europe raises concerns among the private and public sectors about the potential multidimensional impacts to both poultry businesses and people.

The Animal Health Service (AGAH) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has co-sponsored capacity building events in Eastern Europe aimed at improving the ability of countries not only to detect avian influenza viruses (AIV) in their territories but also to control disease outbreaks should they occur. In late 2010, two workshops took place in Eastern European countries.

The first workshop has held in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine on 26-28 October and it was titled AIV HPAI and LPAI Surveillance Strategies and Sampling Intensities. This interactive event, which included low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), was attended by 18 state veterinarians from the Republics of Belarus and Ukraine. It covered an array of aspects, including measures to control avian influenza in Ukraine, AIV surveillance strategies and sampling intensities applied in Belarus, a review of probability estimations, group exercise and discussion on probability estimations, epidemiological estimators and cost-efficacy of a surveillance strategy, epidemiological and sampling units definitions, sampling strategies and sample size estimation, disease detection, sample size estimation using probabilistic tables or ad hoc free software, and a tabletop exercise.

During this first workshop in Kiev, participants suggested that the following workshop should address vaccines and the use of vaccination in AIV management.

Their suggestion was implemented and the second workshop was held in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus on 8-10 November. It was titled Vaccines and Vaccination Strategies in the Poultry Commercial Sector. This event was attended by 26 states veterinarians from the Republics of Belarus and Ukraine. Participants belonged to several governmental institutions. It covered the following aspects: vaccines and vaccinations in Belarus poultry industrial sector, vaccines and vaccinations in Ukrainian poultry industrial sector, the use of vaccination in the framework of an eradication program, vaccination as a tool to limit economical losses due to the presence of  diseases, practical approaches to vaccination as part of avian influenza control and management campaign, disease prevention and surveillance, and a simulation exercise on avian influenza tracing.

For its part, FAO will continue to assist Member Countries to take full advantage of the rapidly growing and transforming livestock sector as well as being involved in emergency responses triggered either by the incursion of detrimental animal diseases or by natural and man-made disasters.

© FAO/Pius Utomi Ekpei