Myanmar Border Communities Prepare for Avian Flu

Health workers from refugee camps and migrant communities on the
Myanmar border will meet with local officials and donors in
Tak’s provincial capital on Friday 27 January to review
contingency plans to cope with a possible outbreak of bird flu.

The workshop, co-organized by the provincial Public Health
Office, IOM, UNICEF and WHO, will take place at the Viang Tak 2
Hotel and is expected to attract over 70 delegates from the
provincial government, international organizations, UN agencies,
NGOs and embassies.

Organizers hope that the meeting will help to identify key
elements of an avian flu preparedness plan to protect refugees and
migrants living in crowded camps and communities in close proximity
to their livestock, along Tak province’s border with
neighbouring Myanmar.

“We also expect to come up with guidelines and a plan of
action for preventing or controlling an outbreak,” said Dr
Jaime Calderon, who coordinates IOM’s migrant health
programme in Thailand.

“These would include clinical management and referral
mechanisms, as well as public health management, surveillance and
containment mechanisms, and resource management,” he

Speakers at the workshop will include representatives of the
WHO, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, Tak provincial officials
responsible for public health and livestock, and local providers of
health services to the Burmese migrant community.

Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI) and the American Refugee
Committee (ARC), two international NGO’s that provide health
services in Tak’s refugee camps, will also report on their
level of preparedness to deal with an outbreak of the disease.

Speaking at a conference in Beijing last week, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a global push to prepare
for the possibility of an avian flu pandemic. At the meeting the
international community pledged $1.9 billion to combat the disease

For more information, please contact:

Chris Lom

IOM Bangkok

Tel. +66.19275215

Email: "" target="_blank" title="">