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Maldives: Pandemic Plan

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  • Maldives: Pandemic Plan

    Maldives Pandemic Plan

    The Maldives has not experienced any cases of avian influenza to date.
    However, it is in the Central Asia flyway and therefore potentially
    vulnerable to the effects of migratory birds.

    There are two chicken farms in the country, one Government owned and
    one privately owned. There is also small scale chicken farming in the
    community.

    The importation of live birds has been banned since 2004 with the
    exception of one day old chicks. A temporary ban on import of one day
    old chicks and frozen chicken and eggs from countries where avian flu
    have been detected has been issued in February 2006. All imports are
    subject to certification processes.

    The potential impact of a pandemic on the Maldives would be huge. Using
    an attack rate of 25% numbers amounting to the size of the population of
    Male’ could be affected. In addition to the health consequences, the
    effects on the tourism industry would severely adversely affect the
    economy.

    The Government of Maldives is committed to preparing for a pandemic
    and this is evident in the planning and coordination activities being
    undertaken.

    Two technical working groups have been formed- one in the Ministry of
    Health and the other in the Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Marine
    Resources. The two groups come together at a weekly meeting to
    progress the planning process. The proceeds of these meetings are fed to
    a national intersectoral panademic preparedness planning committee (NIPPPC) and upwards to a Ministerial Committee and to the President’s
    office.

    A number of activities are being undertaken to improve planning and
    preparedness. An important gap identified in terms of animal health
    issues is the absence of a veterinarian in the country. There is a need to
    strengthen human and animal surveillance and laboratory capacity for
    which training will be required. The NIPPPC has recognized where the
    gaps lie and are in the process of trying to fill those gaps by implementing
    the work-plan.

    However, in order to undertake necessary activities, resources must be
    mobilized and financial support in the region of USD 3 million will be
    required over the next three years. Government of Maldives has
    committed to 10% of the annual requirement.
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