Officials Trained to Tackle Bird Flu Outbreaks

The training at the Centennial Hotel in Phuentsholing.
Disinfection being demonstrated to the participants- click to enlarge

21-28 March, Phuentsholing: Around seventy-eight participants including officials from Livestock, Health, Disaster Management, BAFRA and the Royal Bhutan Police completed an eight day training which helped them to understand and experience the Bird Flu control and response activities. The training was conducted at the Centennial Hotel in Phuentsholing.

Addressing the training, the Director for the Department of Livestock, Dr. Tashi Samdup, highlighted the bird flu threats to mankind and how important it is to understand the real situation and act accordingly. He also stressed on the importance of the One Health Concept and multi-sectoral approaches for successful containment of bird flu outbreaks.

During the training, one of the important highlights was the simulation exercises prepared for the participants covering real scenarios to train them how to go effectively during disease outbreak. The simulation based on the National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan (NIPPP) and the Standard Operating Procedures included the demonstration on the proper usage of personal protective equipments (PPE), the activation of Incident Operation Centre and the team formation for disinfection, surveillance and health; usage of rapid test kit,  and 3D (Depopulation, Disposal and Decontamination), among others which were carried out practically to let them experience the real situation.

The Bird Flu team in Protective Gear
Participants learning the eight different steps to wear PPE- click to enlarge

Besides, the participants were updated on the current status of bird flu (H5N1 and H7N9); revised NIPPP, various documents and disaster acts that can be looked upon during disease outbreaks along with various reporting formats. The floor also discussed field issues and shared experiences of the past bird flu outbreaks.

Organised by the Regional Livestock Development Centre- Tsimasham, the training was the third of its kind. According to a spokesperson, the training was felt necessary considering the past eight outbreaks being mostly reported in Chukha and Samtse Dzongkhags. The training was regarded as a huge success as most of the participants expressed they now had enough confidence to tackle real Bird Flu outbreak situations should it occur in the future.

Concluding the workshop, the organiser expressed its sincere thanks to all the stakeholders for their active participation and also sought their cooperation during outbreaks.

By Tshering Doma, ICS

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