|Wikileaks:||View 06ADANA28 at Wikileaks.org|
|Classification:||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY|
|Tags:||KFLU PGOV TU ADANA Avian Influenza Virus|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000028 SIPDIS SENSITIVE E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KFLU, PGOV, TU, ADANA, Avian Influenza Virus SUBJECT: US AVIAN INFLUENZA TEAM VISITS VAN IN EASTERN TURKEY 1. (SBU) Summary: The U.S. interagency Avian Influenza (AI) team traveled to Van, Turkey on January 22 for talks with local officials. The team met with the Acting Governor and the Deputy Governor, who heads up the province's interagency AI crisis management center. The team then split into two groups representing animal health and human health concerns, who met with their local counterparts. Part of the human health team toured Van Centennial University Hospital's AI unit. The AI team was satisfied with the Van government's timely and transparent response, and encouraged local officials to continue their cooperation with the U.S. and other international institutions to fight the spread of AI in Turkey and globally. Van government officials expressed appreciation for the team's visit and promised to take the team's recommendations seriously, while continuing their policy of open, transparent and internationally cooperative response to AI. End summary. 2. (SBU) The Deputy Governor told the team that, in response to the AI outbreak, his office established the Crisis Center, the Human Health Commission and the Animal Health Commission. The Crisis Center was established and began monitoring the implementation of the two commissions' policy decisions on January 4, 2006, five days after Turkey's two initial human AI cases checked in to Van University's Centennial Hospital on December 31, 2005. The Van Deputy Governor presides and coordinates among agencies on the provincial Crisis Management team. It is composed of representatives from the Van Provincial Health Directorate, Van Provincial Agricultural Directorate, Van Centennial University Research Hospital, Van Municipality, Van Provincial Security (Turkish National Police) Directorate, Van Provincial Jandarma Command, Van Provincial Environment and Forestry Directorate, National Health Ministry, Van Provincial Health Protection Directorate, Van Provincial Public Relations Office, and the World Health Organization. The Sub-Governor told the team that the provincial crisis team coordinated with neighboring provinces and other central government agencies, pursuing high-level contacts as necessary. 3. (SBU) The Deputy Governor explained that the commissions for human health and animal health were established to work through, and provide support for, provincial sub-governor offices (including 11 townships and Van city, each with smaller versions of the provincial AI response administrations) to implement provincial-level commission decisions regarding human and animal health concerns. The Human Health Commission designated Van Centennial University Research Hospital as the sole hospital in the province to receive AI cases since it was a research hospital and was the best equipped hospital in the province. The Ministry of Health provided additional equipment and personnel to the hospital. On January 3, 2006, the commission began a public outreach campaign via television, brochures, local health and farming institutions, mosques and schools throughout the province to inform the public about AI. 4. (SBU) On January 3, the Animal Health Commission established quarantine areas within the province and prohibitions on entry and exit of animals into/from the province, as well as across the Iran border (where vehicles entering the province are disinfected; also at airports in the province). The commission banned the purchase and sale of fowl from/to other provinces. The commission established 85 culling teams throughout the province. Each team was composed of a veterinarian, a driver and three workers. Teams report their activities to the crisis center every day by 1800 hours, providing the AI administration with continuing updates on numbers of culled fowl and any related devlelopments throughout the province. As of January 22, the teams had destroyed 416,000 out of an estimated total population of 594,000 fowls, with no reports of illness among culling personnel. 5. (SBU) As with the Human Health Commission, the Animal Health Commission implemented a comprehensive public outreach campaign to inform the public about avoiding contact with winged fowl and related products. The commission is also working with local institutions to educate the public about the dangers involved in small-scale backyard poultry raising. Both government interlocutors and our contacts around town revealed to us that many small-scale, backyard poultry operators hide their birds from culling teams, while ignoring the possible health risks, and complaining that government compensation (approximately 5 YTL per bird) is below the practical replacement value for their birds. 6. (SBU) The Deputy Governor told the team that the government long has been encouraging local farmers to use covered, integrated installations for raising poultry to ensure less contact with possibly infected wild birds (i.e., increase bio-security). The province currently has three large-capacity poultry installations: one with 194,000 capacity and two with 10,000 to 20,000 capacity. 7. (SBU) In a debriefing of the trip with the Acting Governor and the Deputy-Governor, U.S. animal health officials expressed satisfaction with the Van Provincial Governments' response to AI in the province, and emphasized, despite continuing U.S. concerns about ensuring future bio-security, the importance of using Turkey's response as a model for other countries grappling with AI or other disease outbreaks. U.S. human health officials were impressed by the timely actions taken by Turkey, including early stockpiling of drugs and early education of hospital staff even before the first case of AI was reported. The U.S. human health officials assessed Turkey's disease surveillance systems as robust and likely to detect any future cases. They said that Turkey's case management was appropriate and commendable for a disease that had previously never been seen; and that this was due to Turkey's openness and transparency in working with the international community. While U.S. officials were impressed with Turkey's rapid system of sending samples to the lab in Ankara, they recommended that during sample collection greater care be taken to ensure that all cases are confirmed by the lab. 8. (SBU) When asked how the U.S. could provide further support, Van provincial officials responded that the need for financial support in fighting AI would continue, and that they looked to the U.S. to assist with a worldwide information campaign to tell the West about Turkey's positive contributions in gaining a greater understanding of AI. The provincial officials asked for increased U.S. diplomatic efforts in countries surrounding Turkey to explain Turkey's positive role in battling this global disease. 9. (U) The AI delegation did not have the opportunity to clear this cable before departing Van. REID
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