GHANA - Ghana's poultry association and government ministers have asked consumers of chicken not to panic over the outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the country.
The most recent outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in Ghana was confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health on 11 June.
The Deputy sector Minister, Dr Hannah Bissiw said that despite threats of the spread of the virus from birds to humans, her Ministry and other relevant stakeholders are capable of containing the virus, reported GhanaWeb.
According to her, some farms at Kpone had been quarantined following the outbreak of the disease in the poultry.
Dr Bissiw said the quarantine exercise was to prevent the transfer of the flu to humans.
The president of the Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, Oppong Adjei, said “We’ve already put things in place; surveillance were already in place when it came to Burkina Faso so we were ready because once Burkina Faso is our neighbour, the virus can come to Ghana at any time.”
According to him, since news broke a few weeks ago that there was an outbreak of the virus in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ghana, poultry farmers met to strategise on how to prevent the spread of the virus.
Mr Adjei said poultry farmers have been ordered to intensify their boundary security measures.
More than 40 poultry farm workers in the Greater Accra Region who have come into close contact with birds infected with Avian flu have been screened to avoid the spread of the disease among humans.
The farm workers were working on three farms that have recorded outbreaks of the bird flu.
Out of the 40 farm workers medically examined, one had earlier shown signs of respiratory ailment, but medical results proved negative.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the acting Head of the Disease Surveillance Unit of the Ghana Health Service, Mr Michael Adjabeng, said the farm workers were monitored for seven days after their last exposure to infected birds and had shown no signs of the disease.
Mr Adjabeng said the Disease Surveillance Unit was on red alert to deal with any suspected human case.
According to him, the unit would continue to do follow-ups on the farm workers to ensure that all initial signs of the disease were dealt with promptly to avoid an epidemic.
The Head of Public Health at the Veterinary Services Department, Dr Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, is reported to have said that emergency preparedness plans had already been activated and all farmer executive associations, as well as district and regional veterinary offices, had been made aware of the situation and were prepared to deal with it in case of an outbreak.
He tasked farmers to not delay if they found their birds acting in a suspicious manner.
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