Ghana Calls for Regional Meeting on Avian Flu

GLOBAL - Ghana's Veterinary Services Directorate has invited its partners from neighbouring Togo and Benin to a cross-border meeting at Aflao to discuss common measures to prevent the incursions of bird flu following recent outbreaks in Nigeria.
calendar icon 14 August 2008
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Dr Enoch Koney, acting director of the Directorate said a similar cross-border meeting had been planned between Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso within a couple of weeks on the issue, reports Accra Daily Mail.

Speaking at yesterday's simulation exercise on avian influenza (AI) in Kumasi, he said in view of the dangers the disease pose, the Directorate had notified all Regional Directors of Agriculture as well as veterinary officers about the new cases in Nigeria.

He said the notification was to strengthen surveillance in all AI risk-prone areas in the country.

Dr Koney told stakeholders in the campaign against the disease not to be complacent in their prevention and control measures but rather to intensify efforts at all entry points of the country’s borders.

He also urged them to have a constant check at all live bird markets and also monitor the staging posts of migratory wild birds at wet lands whilst they continued strict observances in the issue of import permits for poultry and poultry products.

Dr Koney further charged stakeholders to encourage poultry farmers to increase their bio-security levels on their farms and continue with the awareness creation of the public not to panic about the disease.

He announced that MOFA was implementing a number of projects towards strengthening capacities of veterinary staff and other stakeholders to improve control activities such as bio-security training for stakeholders in poultry industry.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Douglas Akrofi Asiedu (Rtd), Co-ordinator, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said the outbreak of the avian influenza was a real threat to the whole world.

He stressed the need for the nation to commit resources to educate and sensitize the public on its prevention and how to manage it if it does occur.

Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister commended the nation’s development partners whose collaboration with government helped to check the spread of the disease following its outbreak in the country last year.

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