I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your
assistance in protecting the health of Bahrain from serious
communicable respiratory diseases, such as avian influenza
(‘bird flu’) and SARS; diseases that Bahrain Public Health
Directorate, Diseases Control Section are taking very
Outbreaks of avian influenza A (H5N1 subtype) during 2004
and 2005 in neighbouring Asian countries have heightened the
level of alert towards the likelihood of an influenza
pandemic occurring. Since January 2004, millions of poultry
have been slaughtered to contain the outbreaks and a number
of people have contracted the disease. There is a real risk
that efficient human to human spread of this disease may
The occurrence of influenza pandemics is difficult to
predict, but experts agree that another influenza pandemic
may occur at any time. The World Health Organization (WHO)
warns that the avian influenza virus may combine with
existing human influenza viruses, resulting in a new viral
strain that can easily spread from human to human; a virus
with pandemic potential. Urbanisation, accompanied by
overcrowded and unhygienic living conditions mean that
epidemics can quickly take hold. The ease of international
travel makes possible a rapid global spread of a pandemic.
The first cases of pandemic influenza are likely to appear
in incoming air travellers.
This kit is a resource for pandemic preparedness, but can be
used at any time when dealing with suspected cases of sever
or emerging respiratory disease. It contains the following
- About avian influenza.
- Case definition of avian influenza
A brochure Preparing for an influenza Pandemic, which
provides guidance in the recognition and management of cases
of severe respiratory illness in people who have traveled to
areas at risk, as well as information on what to expect
during a pandemic.
A poster for your waiting rooms to assist members of the
public to identify themselves as at-risk.
A poster for health care workers with information on
respiratory hygiene and infection control.
A fact sheet on influenza for members of the public.
(Frequently asked questions)
A fact sheet on infection control for health care workers.
Sample of the health information "try safer fly" to all
incoming passengers during the pandemic.
Sample of the Health Declaration Card that will be
required to be filled out by all incoming passengers and
crews in the event of a respiratory outbreak.
A summary review of action taken according to place time
and responsible institution.
I urge you to take some time to examine the contents and to
keep this kit as a resource for your work place.
Dr. Nada Haffadh
Minister of Health