In 2006, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) added a new leg to its Humanitarian Aid Unit and launched a Working Group for the prevention and management of zoonotic disease outbreaks (WG ZOD). From the beginning, SAFOSO was mandated with the technical leadership and management of the WG ZOD. The Working Group was in a position to rapidly respond to requests for assistance to prevent, mitigate and manage zoonotic animal disease outbreaks. The scope of assistance offered included: advice on how to prevent and control zoonotic diseases help with epidemiology, disease outbreak investigation, disease control, risk communication, diagnostics, preparedness and prevention assistance to competent authorities to properly prepare for outbreaks – helping plan preventive measures, assessing risk and consulting on contingency plans and testing them through simulation exercises advice on how to raise the public's awareness about the disease and about spread and control measures people can take. Reports of missions to Georgia (2007) and Costa Rica (2009) are available for download (with permission of the respective authorities that had requested our support.)
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