AVIAN Influenza Toolkit - May 25, 2009
The Australian Government Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF) has conducted a project aimed at assisting APEC member economies to enhance their social, political and institutional arrangements to better prepare for and respond to the threat of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs).
The initiative was an outcome of the June 2007 APEC ATCWG workshop, ‘Sharing experiences with the management of the avian influenza H5N1 threat’, held in Bangkok in which participants identified the need for a practical policy implementation toolkit that captured the knowledge and experience of animal health professionals working in the SE Asian region .
Consequently the Avian Influenza Toolkit was developed as a web-based resource that contains management guidelines, information resources, case studies and examples of practical tools to assist countries to implement strengthened animal disease preparedness and response measures. The Toolkit will include practical experiences of countries and experts on emergency animal disease prevention, preparedness, response, control, and management, combining their experience, guidance and tools into an accessible resource. The Toolkit will evolve with international policy developments and technical advances, and will be continuously updated as new ‘best practice’ case studies emerge.
The Toolkit is constructed in modules based upon key elements critical to effective animal (zoonotic) disease prevention, preparedness, control and response. These elements have been developed from the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) six Success Factors which summarise effective preparedness and control strategies that determine a country’s success or otherwise in dealing with emergency animal diseases and the New Delhi Roadmap - a 21-point vision and roadmap for dealing with avian and pandemic influenza adopted at the New Delhi Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza in December 2007.
Examples of Toolkit content include: guidelines on the development of compensation schemes, practical advice and case studies on the implementation of vaccination strategies, biosecurity and operating standards for live bird markets, examples of animal health legislation, examples of effective models for private-public sector partnerships.
A Steering Group comprising representatives from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and the United Nations System Influenza Coordinator (UNSIC), provides overarching guidance and direction to the Toolkit development and administration.
An initial workshop was held in June 2008 (attended by APEC member economies, South East Asian countries and international agencies), to consider user requirements, information needs, best-practice implementation strategies and issues for inclusion in Toolkit.
A second workshop in September 2008 evaluated and reviewed the Toolkit in preparation for the launch at the 6th International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in October 2008. A focus of the Ministerial conference was the management of zoonotic disease risks at the animal–human interface.
Throughout the Toolkit’s development, a significant body of work emerged as it became apparent that the true value of the Toolkit would be found in the sharing of country experiences. To date however, very little of this information has been documented and shared. APEC member economies agreed that ongoing work was necessary and should be commissioned to continue capturing and documenting country experiences and case studies for inclusion in the website. Australia will continue this work in conjunction with APEC member economies and others who wish to share their experiences with the management of avian influenza.
The website is a global resource that complements existing information sources and technical agency websites and has been compiled with the assistance and cooperation of the APEC economies and international agencies which have provided material for the Elements. We invite you to use the toolkit and to consider the website as a forum for the promotion and dissemination of new material relating to AI and other emerging infectious diseases.
Dr. Rhyll Vallis
Strategic Policy & Projects
Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer
Product Integrity & Animal and Plant Health
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Ph: 6272 3148