Timor-Leste: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Technical Advice

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations requested Dr Robyn Alders to be a member of the National Task Force for Avian Influenza in Timor-Leste.

The role of the Task Force was to prepare a Preparedness and Response Plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Although Timor-Leste is free from HPAI, the disease is endemic in most provinces of Indonesia (the country’s nearest neighbour with which it shares a land border). Timor-Leste is also at risk of contracting HPAI because of farming systems that include close contact between people, poultry and swine.

Dr Alders assisted the Task Force to facilitate development of a manual on the prevention and control of HPAI for Veterinarians and District Livestock Officers in Timor-Leste. She also assisted in the development and revision of improved village and small-scale poultry production strategies and programs that mitigate risk and support the prevention and control of HPAI. Government livestock and NGO staff were trained in the new strategies and active surveillance for HPAI in the border districts was implemented.