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Cablegate: Nigeria to Establish National Contingency

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 001943

SIPDIS

USDA FAS WASHDC FOR CMP/DL&P DIVISION
FAA/AREA DIRECTOR/RANDY HAGER
ITP/THOMAS POMEROY
ICD/DRD
USDA/APHIS

FROM OFFICE OF AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS, LAGOS

TOFAS 015

E.O. 12958, N/A
TAGS: EAGR PGOV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA TO ESTABLISH NATIONAL CONTINGENCY
PLAN FOR HPAI PANDEMIC

REF: STATE 00206588, STATE 00216147, SECSTATE
001770774, ABUJA 00002234

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT
ACCORDINGLY.

1. (SBU) Summary: National technical committee of
experts on the prevention and control of Highly
Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) concluded
deliberations in Abuja December 12-14, 2005 and
proposed contingency plans for a pandemic in
Nigeria. Federal Ministries of Agriculture and
Health technical committees proposed national
contingency plans for both human and animal
health. Both technical committees (one from
Health, the other from Agriculture) will seek
substantial financial support from international
donors to implement these plans. National
contingency plans will be presented to the
National Inter-ministerial Committee on Avian
Influenza chaired by the Minister of Health,
before going to the president for approval and
GON budgetary support. End Summary.

2. (SBU) National technical committee of experts
on the prevention and control of Highly Pathogenic
Avian Influenza (HPAI) concluded deliberations in
Abuja December 12-14, 2005 and proposed
contingency plans for Influenza Pandemic in
Nigeria. Federal Ministries of Agriculture and
Health technical committees proposed national
contingency plans for both human and animal
health. Both contingency plans will be presented
to the National Inter-ministerial Committee on
Avian Influenza chaired by the Minister of Health,
before going the Federal Executive Council and the
president for final approval.

3. (SBU) The Ministry of Agriculture's strategy
for the prevention and control of HPAI is based on
the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) format
for preparing National Emergency Preparedness and
Contingency plans for Trans-boundary Animal
Diseases (TADs) and the Australian Veterinary
Plan.

4. (SBU) The committee noted the threat to human
health would persist as long as the problem
persists in poultry flocks. Therefore, the primary
focus of attention in the prevention and control
of HPAI in the country should be from the animal
health perspective. The committee recommended that
prevention and control measures should focus on
clinically affected poultry with full safe
disposal of carcasses, adequate disinfection and
decontamination and appropriate surveillance to
determine the origin and extent of the disease.
The plan also calls for full compensation to
affected poultry farmers. (Comment: The provision
of full compensation appears relatively
enlightened until one realizes that several
powerful Nigerians are involved in poultry farming
and would stand to benefit by this provision. End
comment).

5. (SBU) The report details resources that would
be required to contain and eradicate the virus.
The Ministry of Agriculture's contingency plan
calls for the immediate allocation of 555.5
million Naira (approximately 4 million dollars) by
the Federal Government and $400,000 from
international donors in order to implement its
plan. The Ministry of Health will require the
government to spend 109.2 million Naira (slightly
over $800,000) in addition to $1.1 million it
hopes to collect from international donors.

6. (SBU) The committee acknowledged Nigeria's
deteriorating animal health delivery services due
to lack of adequate resources. In order to
strengthen the national surveillance network, the
committee recommended establishing a diagnostic
laboratory network involving NVRI and designated
laboratories in the veterinary teaching hospitals
in Zairia, Ibadan, Nsuka, Maiduguri and Sokoto as
well as the OIE/FAO/WHO regional and world
reference laboratories for HPAI. Comment:
currently, the National Veterinary Research
Institute (NVRI) in Jos is the only laboratory in
the country capable of animal disease diagnostics.
End Comment.)

7. (SBU) The committee further identified
smuggling or importation of infected poultry and
poultry products and migratory birds as the
possible sources of the introduction of the
disease into the country. Following are specific
recommendations by the committee that will be
presented to the Executive Council (Presidency)
for approval and financial backing.

8. (SBU) --Ban the importation of poultry and
poultry products from countries where the disease
is know to exist. At present, there is a complete
import ban on live birds, poultry products
including fertile eggs.

9. (SBU) --Immediate rehabilitation and
revitalization of existing veterinary quarantine
infrastructure, control posts and enhanced
manpower capabilities.

10. (SBU) --Training of veterinarians, auxiliaries
and other categories of poultry operators on HPAI
prevention and control strategies, including all
aspects of biosecurity.

11. (SBU) --Ensure effective animal surveillance
involving high-risk areas such as poultry markets,
wetlands and migratory bird routes.

12. (SBU) --GON planning for Avian Influenza is
welcome news and a commendable development.
Apparently, the GON planning, right now, is more
weighted towards the agricultural side of the
equilibrium and secondarily toward human health
implications. This is perhaps a prudent strategy
as long as the assumption holds that Avian
Influenza is still limited to animal-to-animal
transmission. However, if the disease mutates to
human-to-human form, Nigeria's planning might not
be optimal. The GON will have to play catch-up
with very little time to spare. Compounding this
problem is that, on the human health side, the GON
appears to be relying more on the international
community for funding than its own coffers.
Browne

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