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Niger to launch avian flu community programme of action

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  • Niger to launch avian flu community programme of action

    Niger to launch avian flu community programme of action

    APA-Niamey (Niger) Niger will implement a community-based programme of action against the bird flu to protect some 12 million heads, with a poultry production dominated by about 97 percent of the traditional livestock, an official source told APA on Thursday.

    These prevention and response measures centre on providing support to veterinary and human care services, stepping up information and public awareness campaigns as well as strengthening the monitoring and follow-up of bird flu-related activities.

    During these past years, some 2.25 billion CFA francs were pumped in the fight against animal diseases, inter alia the bird flu in Niger through the community-based programme of action (PAC) supported by the World Bank.

    The traditional techniques used in the country’s poultry farming increase the risks of infection, in case of outbreak, according to the Animal Husbandry Minister, Issiah Ag Khato said in a workshop dedicated to the launch of bird flu control programmes.

    The minister reminded that the bird flu outbreak pushed the Nigerien government to draw up a national emergency response plan to mainly preserve the health of the country’s cattle and people, as well as to protect the poultry economy and the biodiversity.

    Despite the existing plan of action and the measures taken against the disease, the national health services spotted the H5N1 virus. Meanwhile, an Italian reference laboratory confirmed the presence of the highly pathogen avian flu in February 2006.

    According to Ag Khato, the detection of additional bird flu seats seriously affected the poultry industry, almost nationwide.

    "The government has however quickly contained the disease and developed capacity building strategies to prevent, control and reduce the socio-economic impact of the bird flu", he explained