Thwarting Bird Flu:
Turkey Hosts New Talks
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich *
Istanbul - A bilateral and regional cooperation framework
to prepare for an avian flu pandemic was discussed by Israeli, Jordanian and
Palestinian health and veterinary officials in Istanbul on Wednesday.
While there have been Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian meetings
since avian influenza made headlines in the Mediterranean region in early
October, this was the first meeting in which experts from all three nations
The teams formulated recommendations for cooperating and coordinating
disease surveillance, risk communication, vaccination, training, research
and the movement of people and goods before and during a possible bird flu
The discussions are the first steps in the preparation of a sub-regional
plan by the three. The experts met under the umbrella of the Middle East
Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS), whose goals are to
improve the ability of Middle Eastern nations to respond to disease
outbreaks and to build mutual trust through transborder cooperation.
It was founded by Search for Common Ground, a global conflict-transformation
organization, and the NTI Global Health and Security Initiative, which
focuses on strengthening global disease surveillance, early detection and
MECIDS has focused since 2002 on food-borne diseases, offering multinational
training courses for health workers from all the participating nations,
promoting encounters and creating a system for participating health
ministries to share information.
* Judy Siegel-Itzkovich writes for the Jerusalem Post.
Source: Jerusalem Post, December 15, 2005.
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