MSH Announces Partnership on Global Avian Flu Response

CAMBRIDGE, MA (MARCH 20, 2007)—Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is pleased to announce its partnership with DAI on “Stop Avian Influenza,” the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) three-year global response to avian influenza. The partnership will focus on preventing H5N1—a highly pathogenic virus that causes avian influenza—from evolving into a form transmissible to humans, while mitigating the economic hardships associated with the disease. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) threatens the viability of the global poultry industry, the economic status of small farmers, and the overall health of communities worldwide.

MSH’s Dr. Fred Hartman began his public health career in smallpox eradication and will lead the organization’s involvement in the project. “Stop Avian Influenza will be USAID’s premier worldwide project for the control of HPAI. We are very excited to partner with DAI and assist in the human preparedness and global response,” said Dr. Hartman.

The project will focus on preventing H5N1 infections in birds and preventing human exposure to—thus transmission of—the H5N1 virus. DAI will assume responsibility for all animal-related activities while MSH will assume responsibility for managing activities related to human health.

The project includes a new global collaborative with regional organizations such as the University of Dakar in Senegal, the University of Rwanda School of Public Health, the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, and Primex in the Philippines. Partners will help the project reach surge capacity and respond to multiple requests for in-country assistance simultaneously.

Other DAI sub-contractors include the Bird Flu Control GmbH; McFadden and Associates, Inc.; Michigan State University; QED Group, LLC; Training Resources Group, Inc.; UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and Winrock International.

“The combined resources of this project and all the partners are substantial and will influence the future course of avian influenza worldwide. While the goal is to prevent avian influenza from evolving into a form transmissible to humans, good control efforts will prevent the disease from becoming a recurring problem in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Hartman.