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  • AFGHANISTAN: Bird flu cases surge in new areas

    AFGHANISTAN: Bird flu cases surge in new areas

    28 Mar 2007 14:53:40 GMT

    Source: IRIN

    KABUL, 28 March 2007 (IRIN) - KABUL, 28 March 2007 (IRIN) - New cases of a deadly strain of bird flu have been confirmed in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, and in the southern province of Kandahar over the past week, according to the Afghan health ministry.

    A dead bird found in the garden of the Turkish embassy in Kabul on 20 March was infected with the H5N1 deadly strain of the avian influenza virus, health officials confirmed to IRIN on Wednesday. A quarantine that had been imposed on the embassy compound was lifted after a team of medical workers from the health ministry completed a bird-culling operation there.

    "The blood test of an embassy driver who was injured by a bird has shown no sign of avian influenza," the ministry report said.

    On 23 March, two more cases of bird flu were confirmed in Kabul, a city with an estimated population of more than 3.5 million people.

    Over the past week, bird flu was also detected in the Damaan and Shah Wali Kot districts of Kandahar province in the south of the country

    Officials in Kabul say that insecurity is impeding their efforts to curb the spread of the virus in Shah Wali Kot, where insurgents have repeatedly attacked government employees.

    In an effort to mitigate the outbreak of avian influenza in Afghanistan, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 25 March called on Afghans to stop buying and selling live birds.

    "To prevent transmission of avian influenza to humans, WHO is recommending that persons residing in Kabul, Nangarhar and Kunar provinces avoid the live bird markets until no disease has been reported for several months, because avian influenza can spread to humans from contaminated dust and feathers of infected birds," WHO said in a statement.

    In addition, WHO has requested Afghan bird-lovers to refrain from petting and touching their birds.

    But given the important socio-economic role of birds in the life of many ordinary Afghans, both recommendations are difficult, if not unrealistic, for civilians.

    "I have been doing this business [selling live birds] for over four years. I have no other means to feed my extended family," said one bird-seller in Kabul.

    Officials in Afghanistan's committee against avian influenza said it would be difficult to close live bird markets in the country.

    "I think both economically and socially it is impossible to close all bird markets," Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Health, told IRIN on Wednesday.

    Afghanistan's first bird flu case was reported in March 2006.

    More than 20 cases of bird flu have been confirmed in the country since February, many in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar

    The Afghan government has prohibited the importation of live birds and poultry products from neighbouring Pakistan where several cases of avian influenza have also been confirmed.

    To date, no human case of bird flu has been confirmed among the estimated 25 million inhabitants of Afghanistan.

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  • #2
    Bird flu detected in Afghan capital

    Bird flu detected in Afghan capital

    KABUL, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A new case of bird flu has been identified in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, a local newspaper reported Thursday.

    The new case was detected in a dead bird found from the garden of Turkish embassy in Kabul city, according to daily Outlook.

    "A dead bird found in the garden of the Turkish embassy in Kabul on March 20 was infected with the H5N1 deadly strain of the avian influenza virus," Outlook said in its latest edition.

    However, no official at the country's Public Health Ministry was available to make any comment on it.

    Two more cases of bird were also confirmed in the Afghan capital city on March 23.

    Six more cases had earlier been detected in the country's eastern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar.

    The first bird flu case in Afghanistan was detected in February 2006 and so far, some 20 cases have been confirmed but non in human body.


    • #3
      Re: AFGHANISTAN: Bird flu cases surge in new areas

      Agriculture Program

      Agricultural Background of Afghanistan

      Afghanistan is a land lock and mountainous country. Besides mountain it has agricultural land and 70-80 percent of afghan populations depend on agricultural production. But 23 year internal conflict and unfortunately four years drought have resulted to retain traditional agricultural system and on the other subsequent civil war left some of that land unusable because of neglect, the planting of explosive mines and others problems, instability in rural area have seriously affected the agricultural sector, disrupting rural livelihoods and dismantling the economy, despite of the fact that only 12% of land is cultivated. Only 2 percent country's lands are forest. The environment of Afghanistan is generally too dry and too cold for much life. Moreover, desertification is increasing due to timber wood consumption, uproot shrubs, and collect dung for burning. There are possibilities to increase agricultural production if Afghanistan makes initiative with proper plan for modernization of agricultural sector, which would ensure more irrigation facility, cereal crop cultivation, vegetable production facility, enhance poultry and livestock production through providing technical knowledge with input supply and plantation facility for greening Afghanistan with flora and fauna. Livestock and poultry village poultry production by individual families is the predominant system in Afghanistan . It is based on indigenous chickens, scavenging for feed supply. Extensive surveys by the FAO program for Afghanistan have shown that poultry production is an important activity for poor and landless villagers. In many cases, poultry is the only asset directly owned by village women. These studies have also shown that village women own 92 percent of the village chickens. It is therefore very important to take initiative with holistic approach involving offering financial support (credit) and training on new farming technologies as well as improving farmer's access to animal health service. Though there is incentive for agriculture and livestock in Afghanistan , but its need to become sustainable in terms of environmental, agricultural and livestock production.

      BRAC Agriculture Development Program

      ... The objectives of agriculture and livestock program are to:

      ? Increase agricultural production with involvement of poor women
      ? Build of farmers awareness and knowledge through conducting proper technical training
      ? Create income generation and employment opportunity for betterment of livelihood
      ? Mobilize small farmers socially to use their local resource
      ? Provide good quality poultry chicks and feed to the beneficiaries
      ? Increase good agricultural practices including horticulture nursery, kitchen gardening as well as poultry and livestock

      ? Enhance tree plantation to protect environment.

      Broiler Farming:

      BRAC Afghanistan is implementing broiler rearing through poor women in order to income generation by themselves. Poultry production in Afghanistan is based on domestic chicks. Extensive surveys by the FAO program for Afghanistan have shown that poultry production is an important activity for poor and landless villagers. In many cases poultry is the only asset that directly owned by village women. Although contribution of rural poultry production to Afghanistan is significant and contributes more than 98% of poultry products in the country, the indigenous breeds normally have very low production potentials. In 2005 BRAC Afghanistan has trained 103 women on broiler rearing in Kabul and Parwan provinces with aims to produce broiler. BRAC has carried out training on different aspect of broiler rearing like advantages of rearing high quality variety of day-old-chicks, rearing house and management, letter use, brooding, feeding, disease prevention and vaccination. After receiving the three days training, the women have been implementing broiler chicken rearing activities for table consumption as well as for selling. Each of the trained women has been provided 100 no's day-old-chicks and necessary feed, feeder and drinker as well as medicine and vaccination facility. Although it was not available in Afghanistan but BRAC arranged to buy these inputs from Pakistan . The trained women had started their rearing from June 2005. It was not possible to rear in the winter season (December-march) because day-old-chicks are unlikely to survive in the extreme cold weather. During program implementation it has observed that if adequate facility like availability of day old chicks, feed, feeder, drinker, it will be helpful for sustaining the broiler rearing farm in the rural area.

      Layer Rearing:

      Layer rearing is one of most important activities as an income generating activities in Afghanistan , which could provide a major source of protein to children and families, and women are primary managers of poultry production. Due to unavailable of high yielding poultry bird, balance food in rural area most of the Afghan farmers are producing in traditional system in which mortality was counted more than 50%. They have no proper knowledge and efficiency to rear layer rearing. But there are potentialities to develop poultry would give a substantial source of supplementary food for the nation and lucrative subsidiary occupation to large section of the people, particularly women. With aims to income generating activities through layer rearing, BRAC has provided technical and financial assistance to poor women. BRAC is implementing cage layer rearing since May 2004. In 2005BRAC has trained and distributed two month layer with balance feed, feeder, and drinker to 40 beneficiaries in khulm district under Balkh province. In 2004, BRAC Afghanistan has distributed 20 birds to 250 beneficiaries, but in khulm district BRAC has provided 50 no's two month layer birds to establish as small level layer farm which would be one of the major source of income for their family. The beneficiaries has been selected by their self interested to do layer program, and those who have limited land for chicks layering has been given preference.

      Layer Rearing helps Rais Gul family

      Rais Gul is living village of Bagh-e-rais district under Kabul province. Her husband name Mir Ahmed. She has no any education. Her husband is working as a mobile vegetable seller. They don't have any agricultural land. Only her husband was the main income source through vegetable selling. They have three daughters and two sons. One son and two daughters are going to school. So, it was difficult for them to minimize nutritional requirement of their family member as well as expenditure. They don't know layer rearing would be another source of income that could helps their family. One day BRAC PO (Poultry PO) went to Rais Gul's house and discussed about layer rearing program. She became more interested to select herself in this program. After that she participated 3 day training course on layer rearing so that she could able to know the management, disease control, feeding system and vaccination of layer rearing. After completion of training, BRAC had provided 20 two month old layer birds with balance feed, feeder and drinker 20. PO (Poultry) and sometime DVM visits her house and time to time has given suggestion as required. They had given suggestion for treatment, vaccination, feeding to keep the house clean for layer bird. This suggestion and vaccination was helped to save all of bird. Now Rais Gul knows layer rearing technique properly. After 3.5 month she got eggs production. She had 18 layer birds out 20 birds and everyday she was getting 10-13 eggs. She thought that if she buys more bird, she could get more egg that will help her family expenditure. After that she also purchased some layer bird from existing eggs production. Now Rais Gul are rearing 30 layer bird from which she is getting 22-24 egg per day. Some times these eggs are using for household consumption, sometime she is selling egg to the market. She is motivated to rear layer bird in medium level. Rais Gul says, ?gLayer rearing has opened her eyes to earn money and help her family. She also believes that women could contribute for their family through layer rearing.