Simulation exercise: High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in Guyana

14 to 16 March 2023

Dr. Dwight Walrond, Delegate to WOAH and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority, informed WOAH that a real field simulation exercise of an outbreak of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza under the title “Bird Flu Prevention test” will take place on 14-16 March 2023. The exercise is organized by the Government of Guyana through its Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), in partnership with the Veterinary Public Health Unit, Ministry of Health and other relevant government and non-governmental agencies.

The exercise is meant to evaluate the national One Health collaboration, and capability of Guyana to manage an outbreak of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) or any other zoonotic disease outbreak in Guyana. This simulated outbreak of HPAI will enable the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and its partners to identify any area of the Avian Influenza Contingency Plan and ultimately, of the Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness Plan that requires further revision or improvement. The major objectives of this exercise are:

  1. To sensitize participants on the response mechanism of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and its relevant allied partners in the event that a named zoonotic disease outbreak occurs Guyana.
  2. To acquaint on the effectiveness of integration of the National Emergency Animal Disease Committee (NEADCOM) with its components from industry, agricultural agencies, animal and human health agencies, and other governmental and non-governmental bodies, and the roles of international agencies (e.g Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)) among others.
  3. To test supporting structures and communication links with the various one health stakeholders, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and other governmental departments.
  4. To review the steps involved in the detection, reporting, investigation, management and control of HPAI.
  5. To test the resilience and capability of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and collaborating agencies in dealing with actual disease emergencies.
  6. To promote the preparation and use of an up-to-date manual on Emergency Animal Diseases Preparedness planning adaptable to Guyana.
  7. To ensure that public communication demands are met in the event of a zoonotic disease emergency situation in order to protect public health and maintain public confidence and responsiveness during such emergency.

The simulation exercise on High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza to be dubbed “Bird Flu Prevention One Health preparedness test” will include field and laboratory exercises and group discussions.

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
[email protected]