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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ANKARA6838
2005-11-21 09:54:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

Visit to Turkey by USAID Avian Influenza Official

Tags:   ETRD  EAGR  KPAO  TBIO  AMED  TU  CASC 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 006838 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/RUS, OES/STC, EB/TPP/ATP, EB/TPP/BTA
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR TROSTLE
HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ
FAS FOR ITP/MACKE/THOMAS, CMP/DLP/WETZEL
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS
VIENNA PASS APHIS
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ
GENEVA PASS HEALTH ATTACHE

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR KPAO TBIO AMED TU CASC
SUBJECT: Visit to Turkey by USAID Avian Influenza Official

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 006838

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/RUS, OES/STC, EB/TPP/ATP, EB/TPP/BTA
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR TROSTLE
HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ
FAS FOR ITP/MACKE/THOMAS, CMP/DLP/WETZEL
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS
VIENNA PASS APHIS
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ
GENEVA PASS HEALTH ATTACHE

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR KPAO TBIO AMED TU CASC
SUBJECT: Visit to Turkey by USAID Avian Influenza Official


1. Summary. In the month since the outbreak of Avian
Influenza in Turkey, international and bilateral partners
have been examining Turkey's response as a possible model
for other countries and exploring possible deficient areas
in which to collaborate with Turkey in case of any future
outbreaks. Although Turkey's response to the outbreak was
well regarded, the government's ability to respond to
multiple outbreaks, the need to educate both farmers and
consumers on the virus and lack of supra-governmental
coordination need to be addressed, hopefully before any new
outbreaks occur. Embassy recommends that USAID work through
Embassy to focus support to Turkey on
surveillance/containment training and communication.
End Summary.

--------------
Visit By USDAID Official
--------------


2. On November 15 and 16, the Deputy Director of USAID's
Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Response Unit, Dr.
Murray Trostle, and EmOffs discussed the current situation
and opportunities to collaborate with Turkish officials in
the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, Turkish private
poultry sector representatives as well as International
Organizations like the World Bank and FAO and the EU Mission
to Turkey. Since the outbreak, Turkey has been the focus of
many other delegations seeking information and supporting
coordination efforts. The EU, World Bank and FAO have sent
delegations to Turkey recently, Thailand sent AI speakers
during the past two weeks and Canada plans to send 3
veterinarians to Turkey in the coming week.

--------------
A Short Recap of the Outbreak
--------------


3. Avian Influenza was first detected on a private turkey
farm in the northwestern region of Balikesir, Turkey on
October 1 with H5N1 confirmed on October 7. By all accounts

the government's response to the outbreak was effective and
swift. The affected area was quarantined, all birds in the
area were culled and the information provided to the public
was clear and definitive. In addition, compensation to
farmers was expedited, which will hopefully encourage
reporting of any future outbreaks. There have been no human
cases of infection and the virus remains a bird disease at
this time.

--------------
Still Some Concerns
--------------


4. Despite the excellent response by the Turkish government
to the outbreak, a number of concerns still exist and were
corroborated by others during many of Dr. Trostle's
meetings. Of the concerns noted:
--The need for greater surveillance of migratory birds.
--The need for greater coordination among various Ministries
in the Turkish government and the establishment of a supra-
ministerial with authority to direct all agencies to act in
the case of other outbreaks or a human pandemic.
--The need for a more thorough surveillance and reporting
system, particularly from small farms.
--The availability of an adequate compensation fund (either
monetary or in-kind), which would encourage small farm-
holders to report any outbreaks.
--The need for some sort of public education system,
providing clear and accurate information to producers as
well as consumers on the virus.
--The need for training veterinarians for rapid containment,
particularly in managing multiple outbreaks.


5. Other organizations noted that the Turkish government
has also requested specific equipment to combat AI. In
particular, for agriculture, the government has requested
incinerators to dispose of large numbers of animals, animal
vaccines, protective equipment for workers, and upgrading of
diagnostic equipment. On the health side, the government is
requesting protective equipment for health workers and
supplies of antivirals including Tamiflu. Most of the
equipment and medicines will be provided under existing
programs operated by the World Bank and European Union.
Obviously, should the situation shift from containing a
strictly animal disease to a pandemic affecting humans,
these needs will change.

--------------
Possible Avenues of Collaboration
--------------


6. Given the level of activity already focused on Turkey
some sort of information sharing among the GOT, IO's and
Embassies will be needed in order to avoid any redundancy in
programs. The World Bank may be best suited for this role
given their presence in Turkey. For the United States, Dr.
Trostle and Embassy State and FAS representatives believe
that some form of technical assistance would be most useful
to complement some of the work of other countries and
organizations. In particular, Post has the following
suggestions with the caveat that these may change should the
situation warrant.

--------------
A Real Need for Training...
--------------


7. First, Turkey would benefit from some type of technical
training for local veterinarians and farmers. Most
officials indicated that knowledge levels at central
government offices, particularly in Ankara, Istanbul and
Izmir were sufficient, but that in more rural areas there
has been little dissemination of information. As a result,
some recurring training in several areas of the country
could be beneficial in stemming any animal outbreaks. Post
could draw effectively on farmers unions, poultry
associations and Ministry contacts to disseminate
information and organize this effort. Currently, many
countries are sending random speakers to the country. Post
therefore emphasizes the need for recurring efforts. This
would hopefully encourage the development of a mechanism to
address any future outbreaks of AI or other diseases. Post
also believes strongly that in-country training would be
much more effective in reaching a larger portion of the
population.

--------------
..And Public Education
--------------


8. Second, we believe that the creation of a public
education program is essential. Although, only 9000 birds
had to be culled as a result of the one outbreak, poultry
consumption decreased by 90 percent following the outbreak
and is currently only 50 percent of normal. In addition,
small and subsistence farmers need to be educated on the
need for reporting and the proper steps that should be taken
in case of any bird deaths. One possibility in addressing
this issue would be to draw on information used worldwide on
the outbreak, which could be tailored to the Turkish needs.
The information could be disseminated through various local
organizations.

--------------
Comment: Turkey as a Model
--------------


9. Turkey could serve as a model for many countries,
particularly in the region, in responding to this crisis.
Any collaborative efforts could benefit ongoing efforts in
other countries, particularly those at the same level of
development. Although the reaction by government officials
was good, it is the combined efforts by Turkey's private and
public sector, which stand out. Fostering this cooperation
and sustaining future efforts could encourage other
countries in this
effort.


10. Embassy PA arranced for Mr. Trostle to conduct an
interview with the Anatolian News Agency to note U.S.-Turkey
collaboration on this issue, as part of overall bilateral
relationship.


MCELDOWNEY