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GOAL's avian flu project gets underway in Niger

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  • GOAL's avian flu project gets underway in Niger

    GOAL's avian flu project gets underway in Niger

    Media Statement

    GOAL's Avian Flu project kicks off in Niger this week, and aims to stop lethal bird flu from becoming endemic in the world's poorest country.
    As one of the five African countries that has been hit by the disease, poultry will need to be vaccinated or culled in increasingly large areas of the country. In this west African country where 80% of the population is reliant on small scale poultry as a source of income, this will have disastrous consequences on malnutrition and household income levels.

    With its operations based in Zinder, GOAL's two pronged approach involves educating the population of the affected region about the dangers of avian flu and how to protect themselves, as well as assisting the local health board to determine the extent of the problem. The GOAL Niger team will reach 29,000 people each month with this project.

    "Famine is biting deep in isolated pockets all over the country. In many cases, road networks are bad and telecommunications virtually non-existent, making the process of mounting this project even more difficult for the GOALies," explains GOAL's CEO John O'Shea.

    Recent days saw the mass slaughter of almost 27,000 chickens and other fowl infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Niger's southern Magaria region. The government of Niger has already banned poultry imports from neighbouring Nigeria and restricted moving poultry between villages in Niger, as a safety precaution.

    Last July, GOAL was one of the first agencies to distribute much-needed emergency food supplies to the most vulnerable in Niger, where as a result of drought and locust infestation, over 3.6 million of the 11.5 million population faced critical food shortages.
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