AUSTRALIA HELPS TO KEEP THE PHILIPPINES AVIAN INFLUENZA-FREE
Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Stephen Scott (seated 2nd from left) joined (L-R) Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) National Avian Influenza Coordinator Samuel Animas, DA-BAI Director Davinio Catbagan, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative Kazuyuki Tsurumi at the graduation ceremony for 13 veterinarians from provinces in Regions II and XII and Bohol who finished the Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training (AVET) Program. The AVET Program is part of the Strengthening Laboratory and Field Surveillance for an Effective Avian Influenza Protection Programme funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and implemented by the FAO and DA-BAI. AusAID provided Php9 million to help upgrade diagnostic equipment in satellite laboratories in Regions II and XII, train laboratory staff and local veterinarians, and establish a quality assurance system in regional and national laboratories. The AVET and other trainings for local veterinarians and laboratory staff will help them provide immediate response, control and containment in the event of an Avian Influenza outbreak in the country.