World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Bird flu outbreak in Nigeria, Africa at high risk

Bird flu outbreak in Nigeria shows Africa at high risk from disease – UN agency

An outbreak of the deadly bird flu virus in Nigeria shows that the rest of Africa is in danger from the disease, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today, calling for urgent action to stop the spread of the virus.

FAO said in a statement that along with the World Organization for Animal Health it would now send veterinary experts to the West African country to assess the situation and examine how the virus got there.

“The outbreak in Kaduna state in Northern Nigeria proves that no country is risk-free and that we are facing a serious international crisis,” said Samuel Jutzi, Director of FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division.

“If the situation in Nigeria gets out of control, it will have a devastating impact on the poultry population in the region, it will seriously damage the livelihoods of millions of people and it will increase the exposure of humans to the virus,” Mr. Jutzi added.

Nigeria has an important commercial poultry sector and millions of backyard poultry farmers. The poultry population is estimated at 140 million.

The origins of the spread are not yet known. “It remains unclear if the outbreak has been triggered by migratory birds or by the trade and movement of poultry or poultry products,” said Joseph Domenech, FAO Chief Veterinary Officer.

The Rome-based agency urged veterinary services in Nigeria to eliminate the outbreaks through immediate humane culling and to strictly control the movement of people and animals to and from places contaminated with bird flu. It said it would also send two local experts to the affected region to advise authorities there on control measures.

Transparency, rapid interventions and close collaboration with the international community are crucial to stop the spread of the virus, FAO added.

“We are aware that veterinary services in Nigeria are in need of international support. The animal health infrastructure in the country is facing a big challenge and will require outside assistance,” Mr. Domenech said. Laboratory materials for diagnosis and protective equipment for veterinarians undertaking investigation are urgently required.

During the last two years, several countries have reported outbreaks of avian influenza caused by the H5N1 virus in people, and close to 100 have died, most of them in Viet Nam. In addition more than 140 million chickens have been slaughtered in an effort to contain the disease. So far, the virus has only spread from infected animals to humans, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it could change into a form that spreads easily from person to person, triggering an influenza pandemic that could kill tens of millions of people worldwide.

Last month, donors pledged $1.9 billion to fight the spread of the disease, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a massive, coordinated international response to the virus.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC