May 10, 2010
DAI-led Project Credited with Reducing Risk of Avian Influenza in Indonesia
A DAI-led project has expanded Indonesians’ knowledge of and alertness to avian influenza and successfully embedded risk-reduction efforts in vulnerable regions, according to VIPs at an April 28, 2010, conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.
During the standing-room only event at Le Meridien Hotel, the Community-Based Avian Influenza Control Project (CBAIC), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was recognized for empowering Indonesian communities and helping the poultry industry and government reduce risks associated with transmission of avian influenza (AI).
Since CBAIC began, the number of human deaths in Indonesia due to the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus decreased from 45 in 2006 to 37 in 2007 and 19 in 2009, according to the World Health Organization.
“Bird flu cases in poultry and humans are decreasing; the last case found in a human was in Jakarta in January,” said Emil Agustiono, Indonesia’s Deputy Coordinating Minister for Social Welfare, as quoted in the Jakarta Post article on the conference. “The H5N1 virus, which is pathogenic and deadly, is endemic in Indonesia. But we should not be afraid. We just need to be aware of it.”
The conference, titled “Sustaining Efforts to Reduce Risk of AI through Partnerships,” formally recognized the end of CBAIC’s four-year mission and served to encourage and reinforce local ownership of CBAIC risk-reduction initiatives, including a program for mobilizing communities to identify and reduce their AI risks, and a commercial poultry biosecurity program for improved disease control and productivity.
USAID/Indonesia Mission Director Walter North delivered keynote remarks to an audience that included the project’s local implementers and trainers, and leaders from the poultry industry, government, and international agencies.
Chicken farming is a primary livelihood in Indonesia, and chicken a food staple. AI has killed nearly 150 people in Indonesia, more than twice that of any other country, and millions of chickens have died from the disease or were culled to reduce its spread.
In its first two years, CBAIC built a network of 27,000 village AI control volunteers across nine western Indonesian provinces with the help of local implementing partners Indonesian Red Cross and Muhammadiyah. Since then, in response to new information about AI and AI transmission, CBAIC has targeted the heavily populated provinces of West Java and Yogyakarta. Provincial and district governments there championed CBAIC initiatives, which led to overwhelming community participation, allowing the AI risk-reduction program to take root.
As a result, research shows that residents in CBAIC-mobilized communities—with a combined population of millions—are significantly more likely than residents in non-CBAIC areas to practice risk-reducing behaviors. These include reporting sudden death of chickens to local leaders or animal health officials, burying dead chickens, and thoroughly washing hands, clothes, tools, and surfaces that have been in contact with poultry or poultry parts.
More than 150 communities in West Java mobilized under CBAIC, increasing the capacity of more than 3,400 local leaders, officials, and members of the poultry supply chain. Poultry owners, producers, traders, transporters, slaughterhouses, and vendors also participated in CBAIC.
CBAIC outreach to Desa Siaga—the Ministry of Health’s “alert village” program— reached more than 1,400 villages across West Java and Yogyakarta. The Desa Siaga program trains communities in disaster and emergency preparedness and response.
Desa Siaga outreach trained more than 350 AI master trainers, who in turn trained nearly 3,500 village health cadres across West Java and Yogyakarta. These community-level cadres now regularly disseminate AI risk-reduction messages at religious, women’s, and youth group meetings.
Per a request from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, CBAIC provided project-developed AI risk-reduction training manuals for every provincial and district Desa Siaga office across the country.
In support of CBAIC, three supporting mass media campaigns—in early 2008, early 2009, and late 2009 through early 2010—each reached more than 100 million Indonesians nationwide with specific action-oriented AI risk-reduction messages.
The CBAIC commercial poultry private sector program collaborated with more than 350 farms to increase biosecurity and good flock management practices such as controlling access to farms, implementing and practicing proper disinfection techniques, and regularly practicing hand washing with soap. Private sector support of the program is strong, Industry leaders report that the core biosecurity and good management practices of the CBAIC program are widely accepted throughout the industry.
Sustaining AI Risk-Reduction Efforts in Indonesia
Signs indicate that CBAIC’s initiatives and recommendations will carry on. Indonesian government personnel and funds helped support program implementation. Local AI risk-reduction policies and regulation have been established or strengthened, and district and local governments declared verbally and in writing to continue the initiatives after CBAIC ends.
“We feel very confident that many of the AI abatement measures introduced by CBAIC will become a permanent aspect of Indonesia’s public health and biosecurity practices,” said Maria Busquets, CBAIC’s chief of party.
Other groups participating in the conference included the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Livestock Research Institute, John Snow International, the Indonesian-Dutch Partnership, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Centers for Disease Control, as well as press representing more than 20 different newspapers and magazines.