242729 Testing Capacity for Avian Influenza Prevention and Control - Community Approaches to Simulation Exercises

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Truong Bui, MD MPH , Avian Pandemic Infuenza Initiative, Abt Associates, Hanoi, Vietnam
James C. Setzer, MPH , International Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Susan Scribner , International Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Timothy Irgens, MPH , International Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Vietnam is considered a high-burden country for Avian Influenza (AI). Early detection is an essential first defense against AI H5N1 and other EIDs. At present, there remains a critical gap between the established national surveillance system and community-level efforts. The USAID-funded project established community-based surveillance (CBS) model in target provinces to fill this gap and then conducted Simulation Exercises to test the model for early detection and response and to assess the model's readiness to outbreaks. The exercise scenarios included both real and false cases. Participants demonstrated knowledge and skills in case detection and report, safe transfer to healthcare settings, infection control measures, and activating community human and animal health sector responses. The exercises were the first of their kind in Vietnam. Following established procedures, Animal Health Workers reported suspected cases to the commune, triggering verification visits by Commune Animal Health Workers, emergency meetings of Commune AI Committees, and increased surveillance by local Health Workers to detect possible human cases -- a strategy designed to assess and strengthen local capacity and provide a hands-on learning opportunity. The exercises also included household visits to rumored human cases, reported suspect cases, transferred patients to commune health stations, and applied basic infection control measures, successfully demonstrating internalization of the protocols. The simulation exercises provided a unique opportunity to assess the effectiveness of CBS interventions and identify areas for increased attention, helped increase local ownership, strengthened the relationship between administrative levels, and enhanced disease awareness and surveillance at all levels.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, participants will have examined effective community approaches to strengthening capacity by conducting simulation exercises for avian influenza prevention and control

Keywords: Surveillance, Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was project diretor of the Avian Influenza Mekong Initiative. I provide technical and management oversight and leadership on the program, in which CBS simulation exercie was one of the key activities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.