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Avian Flu School

A Project of the
Global Livestock CRSP

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Workshop Planning Guide

Included in this guide:

  • Course Description
  • Target Audiences
  • Workshop Instructors
  • Workshop Room Set Up
  • Preparation for Laboratory Exercises
  • Course Time Allowances
  • Workshop Planning Checklist

Course Description

Avian Flu School (AFS), an international train-the-trainer program, covers the key topics and skills important for preventing, detecting and responding to H5N1 HPAI outbreaks. The full AFS course is a four-day course curriculum for training instructors regarding the critical information for H5N1 HPAI emergency management and communications, surveillance in domestic and wild birds, public health and worker safety, outbreak prevention and response, and practical skills (using PPE, packaging diagnostic samples, and swabbing, bleeding, vaccinating, and cleaning a chicken). The AFS course is designed to be adaptable to different countries and environmental conditions. See the AFS Course Outline.

Target Audiences

The course is designed for veterinarians, poultry producers, animal health officials, agricultural extension staff, public health workers, wildlife managers, zoo managers, and live-bird market managers.

Training is needed at the national, district, and local level. The AFS course materials are appropriate for the national and district level workshops for the audiences listed above. The AFS course can be customized for particular stakeholder groups such as poultry producers or wildlife managers. The Overview Module is designed as the basic background information for all audiences. For many audiences, it would be appropriate to teach only portions of the modules. For example, the full Surveillance Module or Health Module may not be necessary for specific groups. Not every audience needs to know how to design a surveillance plan or how to protect hospital workers. The modules contain lessons. Customizing the AFS course may mean teaching only selected lessons of modules 2, 3, and 4. The modular and lesson design allows for the AFS materials to be customized for training particular stakeholder groups.

The AFS course materials would have to be adapted for education programs at the local community or village-level.

Workshop Instructors

It is recommended that full 4-day AFS course be taught by at least two instructors, preferably three or four. Ideally, one instructor should have experience with animal health and poultry issues and one should have public health experience. Contact the AFS Program at to locate qualified AFS instructors.

Workshop Room Set Up

The AFS course modules involve short lectures and small group exercises. The room should be set up with four or five tables for 4-5 participants at each table. The tables should be positioned angled toward the front of the room so that participants can easily look forward and turn to their tables for group discussions. If the AFS PowerPoints are used with the modules, the projector should be positioned and the front of the room should have a screen. The room should also have a couple aisles with chart paper for recording some of the exercise discussions. 

Preparation for the Laboratory Exercises

Advance preparation: 

In order to set up the AFS laboratory, you will need to make several advance preparations:

  • The lab will take place at the conclusion of the classroom teaching and will need to be in a location where chickens and/or ducks can be handled. 
  • Well in advance, you will need to get Institutional Animal Use approval.
  • Plan carefully the details of picking up and transporting the birds to the laboratory. They will need to arrive before the exercises begin.
  • You will need at least 1 instructor per 4 participants for the exercises.
  • One or two lab assistants needed before during and after the exercises to setup the room, pick up trash from tables, move trash receptacles, clean-up, etc.

Make sure you visit the room at least 1 day before the planned exercises and go through the following checklist:Laboratory Room Needs:

  • Birds must be brought there (and should not be a problem for the surrounding offices).
  • Must be able to be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Need to be able to get boiling water on lab day at the right time (water and heat).
  • Need tables (2-4 participants per table).
  • Need to have a sink with soap and water for hand washing.
  • Make sure room is properly assigned for at least 6 hours for this exercise (setup 1 hour, lab 4 hours, clean-up 1 hour).

Setup on the day of the exercises:

It takes 2 people about 2 hours. How long in advance you need to begin setup is dependent on how long it takes to boil 3-5 liters of water (a Coleman stove takes 20-30 minutes to heat 2 pots).

Per participant:

  • PPE kit and instructions
  • 3cc syringe + 23 gauge 1” needle (bleeding)
  • 3cc syringe + 16 gauge 1” needle (vaccine)
  • 3 tubes (2 for swabbing, 1 for bleeding)
  • tube rack
  • 3 pieces of duct tape
  • 3 pre-printed labels (or blanks and marker pen)
  • 2 swabs
  • 1 knife
  • 1 cloth
  • 1 foot tie
  • carriers to hold birds

Per table:

  • Spray bottle of disinfectant (See disinfectant handout.)
  • Marker pen (Sharpie type)

Per room:

  • 3 pots of boiling water
  • 3-5 wooden spoons
  • Sharps disposal container
  • 3-5 trash cans
  • 1 knife sharpener
  • Hot pads
  • Killed Newcastle disease vaccine (or other inactivated vaccine)
  • Vaccination site handout

Course Time Allowances

The full AFS course requires three days for the four modules and a half day for the practical session. 

Module 1 – Overview: 1 day

Module 2 – Surveillance: 4.5-5 hours

Module 3 – Public Health and Worker Safety: 2-3 hours

Module 4 – Prevention and Response: 1 day

Practical Session (in Laboratory): 3 hours

Workshop Planning Checklist

Pre-Workshop Tasks:

Do 6 Weeks Prior to the Workshop:

___Reserve workshop venue:  ________________________

___Reserve food service (4 days of breakfast and 3 days of lunch):

___Reserve hotel accommodations (as needed):

___Email invitations to participants and follow up with a call-- to potential participants among veterinarians, animal health officials, agricultural extension trainers, poultry industry advisors, wildlife managers, or other selected groups.

Confirm 2 weeks prior to the workshop:

___ Confirm participants as they respond

___Confirm workshop instructors/presenters:

Complete at least 1 week before workshop: 

___Assemble sets of training materials, evaluation worksheets, and take-home handouts.

___Make arrangements for computer and PowerPoint projector, screen, aisles and chart paper, and marker pens.

___Re-confirm food (breakfast, lunches, snacks) and hotel reservations for participants and instructors.

FAO Reference Laboratories

Avian Influenza Information Resources

World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)


National Wildlife Health Center (USGS-NWHC)

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)


US Geological Survey (USGS)


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