Training and Technology Transfer of Avian Influenza Diagnostics and Disease Management Skills
The present worldwide avian influenza (AI) crisis has highlighted the need for comprehensive training and the transfer of technology to EU accession and international cooperation target (INCO) countries with the clear goal of aiding these countries in combating AI with the most up-to-date diagnostic and disease management procedures.
The FLUTRAIN project will first approach the need for training by providing two workshops over the duration of the project that will call on experts in the AI field to pass on their expertise in the diagnosis and management of AI to participants from accession and INCO countries. Training opportunities will also be provided in partner laboratories in order to consolidate the information and practical experience gained during the workshops. In addition, a CD-ROM will be prepared containing essential information provided during the workshops. A website will be developed which will enable participants and the general public to access the training programmes and will include on-line discussion forums between trainees and trainers.
Another goal of FLUTRAIN will be the transfer of technology to accession and INCO countries. This will include the provision of new, simplified and cost-effective diagnostic methods and reagents. It will also involve the transfer of deliverables, both for serological and virological diagnosis, that have been (or will be) developed in three European projects - AVIFLU, Lab-on-Site and FLUAID. Finally, FLUTRAIN will identify and supply funds, in a bilateral manner, for one-off specific support missions that will target specific AI problems in recipient countries.[+] Read More
Avian influenza infections have become of increasing relevance both from the animal and human health perspectives. With the extension of the H5N1 epidemic from Asia to Eastern Europe and Africa, notwithstanding the efforts of international organisations, there is clear evidence that in the current situation the attempts to stop the infection's progress are insufficient. There are several factors that are contributing to the spread, an important one being the delay in identifying primary outbreaks in a given area in a timely manner. This has highlighted the need for comprehensive training and the transfer of technology to accession and INCO countries with the clear goal of aiding these countries in combating AI using the most up-to-date diagnostic and disease management procedures.
Avian influenza infections caused by several subtypes are endemic in vast areas of the world, particularly in developing countries and countries where poverty is widespread. Under these circumstances AI infections are very difficult to control, due to the lack of funds to train staff, produce or purchase diagnostic reagents or apply modern diagnostic technology. The objective of FLUTRAIN is to bridge the gap of knowledge between EU scientists and colleagues in AI affected countries. This project has the objective of supporting countries affected by AI infections through training and the transfer of knowledge and technology.