Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
In 2009 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Avian and Pandemic Influenza Initiative (APII) in Vietnam to Abt Associates. As a task order under the TASC 3 IQC, this initiative strengthens the capacity of the Government of Vietnam and its counterparts to identify, prevent, and control outbreaks of avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in animals and humans. Activities include strengthening surveillance and outbreak control; building animal and human health workers' and communities' capacity to identify, prevent and control Avian and Pandemic Influenza (API); supporting biosecurity activities and reducing risk in the poultry supply network; improving preparedness planning to better respond to emergency outbreaks; and developing and implementing behavior change communication strategies and other measures.
To-date the initiative has developed training systems and materials for community volunteers to identify symptoms of several reportable diseases in humans and animals and to report into the national surveillance systems; developed training materials to help district and commune level health facility staff operationalize the Government of Vietnam’s Circular 18, which mandates infection control programs in all facilities (this training is now being formally adopted and rolled out throughout Vietnam’s public health system); developed training packages and modules for both animal health workers and agriculture extension workers in animal health and biosecurity – strengthening community based animal health workers’ ability to address API and other EIDs and farmers knowledge of reduced risk farming practices; updated two markets and three slaughter points in-order to facilitate better biosecurity and rick reduction practices while selling and butchering poultry.
Abt Associates is joined for APII by the Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific (AFAP), which will continue its work to train animal health workers (AHW) and agricultural extension workers (AEW), and the Vietnam Red Cross which supported local stakeholders to develop, test, and revise pandemic preparedness plans. This initiative builds on Abt Associates' successful implementation of the Avian Influenza Mekong Initiative, which worked to test, refine, and implement key methodologies to build the local capacity of the government and communities to better identify, prevent, and manage the spread of the H5N1 virus, Avian Influenza, or bird flu.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.