The work of the project was structured into four Workpackages, each encompassing some of the following tasks (Further details are available on the project website):
- Strategy and Regulation - this included the development of an avian flu strategy, including workshops and training to disseminate the proposed strategy. Through advocacy efforts, by May 2008, a national plan for prevention and control of influenza pandemic had been finalised, and a National Crisis Centre contingency plan for influenza pandemic prepared. A table of correspondence between Turkish law and European Union (EU) veterinary directives was drawn up, and a draft AI sub-law adopted and entered into force. In addition, a draft sub-law for Newcastle Disease was completed, following a public consultation period.
- Studies/Surveillance and Information Systems - this included the assessment of epidemiology studies, reports, and surveillance programmes, as well as the creation and use of targeted surveys to fill information gaps. It also included the establishment of an interdisciplinary task force to cooperate with MARA and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) regarding wildlife monitoring and upgrade of the Veterinary Information System. Efforts to share information took the form of face-to-face sessions, such as a workshop held on AI surveillance in wild birds and a presentation on safe hunting, as well as printed materials, such as an AI field manual for wild bird and backyard poultry surveillance which was distributed to all veterinarians.
- Strengthening Veterinary Services and Coordination - this included strengthening administrative capacities; enhancing surveillance capacities, including epidemiologist and wildlife training; improving laboratory diagnostic capabilities; strengthening preparedness and response capabilities, including outbreak management training; and developing links with international AI information networks. The project website was set up as one tool for fostering cooperation, in part through its list of AI websites designed to foster further learning and contact with like-minded efforts in countries other than Turkey.
- Awareness and Control Measures - this included improving avian flu public awareness through: risk communication and behaviour change communication; improving bio-security in backyard poultry, through identification and testing; and addressing poultry industry problems, including compartmentalisation and manure disposal. One theme running through this particular portion of the project was intersection with the mass media. For example, organisers prepared an article for international publication on the role of hunting in AI introduction into backyard poultry. They also gave television interviews on the AI situation, including improved reporting and response. Also, one practical component of a real-scale AI simulation exercise that took place in October 2008 was a "fake press conference" to prepare participants for interaction with the media.
Health, Natural Resource Management.
Click here to visit the project website, where various types of information are included, such as the project final report, report and documentation for compartmentalisation, and a review of wild bird mediated H5N1 HPAI in Turkey.
EU Commission, Conseil Santé.
Technical Assistance to Avian Influenza Preparedness and Response in Turkey website; and emails from Paul R. Watson to The Communication Initiative on March 7 2008 and December 3 2008.