Northern Region taking measures to prevent bird flu

Poultry2All district veterinary offices in the Northern Region have received funds to undertake sensitisation activities on the avian influenza (bird flu) as part of efforts to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the region.

Dr Mathias Kojo Ayensu, Regional Veterinary Officer, who made this known in Tamale, said the funds, transferred to the districts last month, were made available by the World Bank as part of its contributions to the government’s efforts to prevent the outbreak of the avian influenza to other parts of the country.

Dr Ayensu announced this at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Regional Office of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in Tamale to discuss measures being implemented to prevent the disease.

Some of the stakeholders that attended the meeting included representatives of Poultry Farmers Association, butchers, World Food Programme, Department of Agriculture, Ghana Red Cross, Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Dr Ayensu mentioned that the activities to be undertaken, include radio talk shows on the disease and visits to live bird markets to educate the people on the disease and how to handle birds when the illness is detected.

The country confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza, an infectious viral disease that affects poultry, in June and the disease has so far spread to Greater Accra, Ashanti and Volta Regions.

As part of measures to contain the disease, the government has placed a ban on the movement of poultry products and feed from Accra to other parts of the country while a number of birds that contracted the disease have been destroyed.

Dr Ayensu said officers of the veterinary offices in the districts are working hard to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the region.

“People can still eat chickens that are well-cooked,” he said.

He said compensation would be paid to farmers whose birds would be destroyed for contracting the disease.

Mr Adam Tamimu, Head of Man-made Disasters at Regional Office of NADMO said district and zonal officers of the organization would continue the public education efforts to prevent the outbreak of the disease.

Mr Tamimu urged consumers to continue eating well-cooked chickens and eggs since the products are safe.

He however advised against the touching of live birds with bare hands.

Source: GNA

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