IRD Hosts National Conference to Protect Ukrainians from Avian Influenza
IRD’s Rapid Response to Avian Influenza in Ukraine program sponsored the Second National Conference on Avian Influenza in Yalta, Crimea on October 21–23, 2009. One hundred key decision-makers, leading veterinary medicine specialists, public health officials, first responders, NGO representatives, and other experts from across Ukraine gathered to discuss pandemic prevention, preparedness and response to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), improve inter-sectoral cooperation, strengthen HPAI control, and highlight role of international donors and partners in support of countries with registered H5N1 virus.
Activities for school children spread information about avian flu prevention
The conference allowed participants to exchange ideas and learn about the most recent tendencies of HPAI circulation, the epizootic situation in Ukraine and worldwide, modern strategy of vaccination and prevention, epidemiological and social aspects of HPAI, and methods of combating and preventing the spread of the virus to Ukraine. Scientists and experts from variety of agencies such as the Ukrainian Center of Flu and Acute Respiratory Diseases, Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Health, State Custom of Ukraine, Ministry of Emergency, and other agencies presented and led discussions on these important topics.
The conference participants were able to experience several of the methods the Rapid Response program has used to spread the word about HPAI. The Melitopol Amateur Theater of Drama and Comedy staged the musical performance “Avian Flu Doesn’t Sleep,” which had been funded by the program’s mini-grant project. Contests and quizzes promoting HPAI awareness, songs filled with HPAI messages, folklore, and dancing captivated the audience
Rapid Response, a USAID-funded program, has funded 25 such grants tailored for AI community work within the regional context. Since 2006, IRD has operated the Rapid Response program, which has trained nearly 10,000 specialists in AI response and containment; conducted a mass-media campaign; and sponsored a drawing contest for students, a regional contest that judged households on the best poultry practices, and musical theater performances that drew more than 11,000 spectators.
IRD is a non-profit humanitarian and development organization dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. With the help of local groups and donors, IRD builds sustainable, community-based programs for health, agriculture, economic growth, infrastructure, and governance. IRD works in nearly 40 countries and specializes in conflict and post-conflict environments.