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HPAI surveillance programme in Cambodia : results and perspectives

Desvaux S., Sorn S., Holl D., Chavernac D., Goutard F., Thonnat J., Porphyre V., Ménard C., Cardinale E., Roger F.. 2006. In : Schudel Alejandro (ed.), Lombard Michel (ed.). OIE/FAO International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza : proceedings of an international conference, Paris, 7-8 April 2005. Bâle : Karger, p. 211-224. (Developments in Biologicals, 124). OIE/FAO International Scientific Conference on Avian Influenza, 2005-04-07/2005-04-08, Paris (France).

Cambodia has faced 15 confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) outbreaks in different sectors of the poultry industry since January 2004. The country has very limited human and financial resources and, when the outbreak first began, the veterinary services were not equipped with the basic tools to collect accurate epidemiological information or to fight the disease. Therefore, different agencies, under the umbrella of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, are providing support to the Government to strengthen its capacity to diagnose, survey and control the avian influenza (Al) virus. Different surveillance tools are being tested, such as market monitoring and a sentinel villages' network, to offset the weakness of the national passive surveillance network. Several constraints were identified during the implementation of this programme, such as a lack of motivation among provincial staff, the limited capacity of the central team to compile and analyse the data generated, the reluctance of farmers to have their animals sampled, and weak diagnostic capacities. The sustainability of such a surveillance system once international support ends remains to be seen. Participatory epidemiology (PE) may be an appropriate complementary tool to track diseases. PE works on the principle that livestock keepers often possess detailed knowledge of animal diseases and can provide valuable diagnostics that could help in identifying AI outbreaks, particularly in remote areas.
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