Strengthening surveillance, IEC and procurement planning to address Avian Influenza in Georgia

The project was funded by USAID/Caucasus and implemented by Curatio International Foundation (CIF) and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) in June 2006-April 2007. The key partners were: Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, DPH, NCDC, WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, DTRA, HHS/CDC, MoA, AgVantage. The aim of the project was to assist the Government of Georgia with well-coordinated approach on surveillance, IEC and procurement that would strengthen early warning systems, outbreak investigation, and effective response to a possible pandemic.

The objective of the project was to strengthen surveillance/early warning system, procurement planning, and procurement of commodities to address the immediate need, information, education, communication. One of the major components of the project, surveillance, included following activities: assessment of current practices, needs and system design, development of surveillance standards and protocols, development of guidelines, training of public health workers and medical professionals, provision of ongoing on-the-job technical assistance, dissemination of methods, results and lessons learned. The second component for the project, procurement, it combined the need of immediate assessment in consultation with the Government and major donors/partners and in procurement such as the World Bank and DTRA; procurement and delivery of required commodities; development of a master inventory of all commodities required to support surveillance of pandemic influenza. The third component IEC was implemented through provision of input to the development of the National Communications Strategy; development of essential talking points for spokespersons; workshops with media representatives; roundtables with national and regional officials; development of guidelines for health workers on communication with the public.

Over the project period of June 2006 to April 2007, PATH and CIF closely collaborated with the Government of Georgia and other stakeholders.

Key partners included:

Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA)
Department of Public Health (DPH) and a network of regional and rayon Centers of (????????)
Public Health (CPH)
National Center for Disease Control and Medical Statistics (NCDC)
World Health Organization/European Region (WHO/EURO) and WHO/Georgia office
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
World Bank (WB)
US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Department of Health and Human Services/US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (HHS/CDC)
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
AgVantage Project
The following activities were undertaken within the frame of the project:

Training of public health personnel and health care professionals in the new surveillance procedures and measures to control AI infection in humans;
Development of AI communication guidelines (“talking points” and “message maps”), followed by training for spokespersons and media representatives;
Procurement and delivery of surveillance and laboratory supplies;
Development of an inventory and forecasting tool to strengthen laboratory preparedness and ensure coordination of laboratory supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).