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Cablegate: Sudan - Avian Flu Update 10 - August 14

VZCZCXRO9670
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1925/01 2261229
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141229Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4132
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001925

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI KFLU SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - AVIAN FLU UPDATE 10 - AUGUST 14

KHARTOUM 00001925 001.2 OF 002


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Summary
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1. On August 2, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
convened a Technical Task Force (TTF) meeting on Avian Influenza
(AI). At this time, there were no new cases of AI reported in
humans in Sudan. The last AI outbreak in poultry was on July 6, and
since then, there have been no cases of AI reported in any states.
The Sudan Strategy and Plan of Action, which was prepared by the
Federal Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (FMARF), was
distributed to donors on July 30. A pre-vaccination serological
survey was carried out by the Khartoum State Ministry of
Agriculture, in collaboration with the FMARF and the Central
Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL), and vaccinations have begun.
A Rapid Response Team (RRT) including representatives from Federal
and State ministries, FAO, the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO),
CVRL, and the Central Health Laboratories will be formed, and terms
of reference (TOR) will be written for the team. The committee
formed by the FMARF to study issues related to the compensation of
poultry farmers estimated that USD 10 million is needed in funds to
compensate farmers, and the committee recommends 100 percent
compensation. End summary.

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----------------------
Status of AI in Sudan
----------------------

2. On August 2, FAO convened a meeting for the TTF on AI in
Khartoum. Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the U.N.
Children's Fund (UNICEF), Khartoum State, and the State Ministry of
Health (MOH) were absent at this meeting. The last outbreak of AI
in poultry was reported on July 6, and since then, there have been
no cases of AI reported in any states. The TTF stressed that
although there are currently no outbreaks, the virus may still be
present. The TTF noted that high temperatures may explain the
reduction in cases of the disease, and additional outbreaks may be
expected especially when temperatures decrease. The TTF stated that
a thorough investigation is needed to determine where the virus is
present when there are no outbreaks and how it spreads. WHO will
conduct awareness training on AI that will target the international
community working in Sudan.

3. Pre-vaccination samples (sera and swabs) were collected from
breeder farms by the Khartoum State Ministry of Agriculture, in
collaboration with the FMARF and the CVRL. These samples were then
tested at the CVRL, and 2 of 70 sera samples collected from one of
the breeder farms tested positive for AI A. The samples were
re-tested, and the serotype was found to be low pathogenic AI. The
samples will be sent to Weybridge, a reference laboratory in the
United Kingdom, for confirmation. The CVRL only has resources to
conduct pre-vaccination surveys. The CVRL will coordinate with
state ministries to obtain the necessary data for the layer farms to
plan for sampling and collection of specimens.

4. The final version of the Sudan Strategy and Plan of Action was
prepared by the FMARF and distributed to donors on July 30. A
committee was formed by the Federal Ministry of Animal Resources and
Fisheries to study the economic impact of the disease, restructuring
the poultry industry, and compensation to farmers. The committee
recommended 100 percent compensation for farmers who have lost
poultry, but the Sudanese government has only approved 40 percent
compensation and exempting farmers from taxes for 6 months.

-------------
Coordination
-------------

5. The TTF has weekly meetings, but the representatives from the
Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance have not attended these
meetings. FAO was assigned to contact members who are not attending
weekly meetings to ensure their participation in the future.

6. A RRT will be formed with representatives from FAO, WHO, State
Ministry of Agriculture (SMOA), State Ministry of Health (SMOH),
FMARF, and CVRL. Each agency will nominate one person who will be a
permanent member of the team, and each member will be financially
supported by his/her agency. The main function of the RRT will be
to ensure active surveillance and guarantee that proper control
measures are promptly carried out when an outbreak is reported. The
TOR for the RRT will be prepared by FAO and will be discussed and
approved by the TTF.

KHARTOUM 00001925 002.2 OF 002

--------------------------------------------- ---------
Contributions Toward Sudan Strategy and Plan of Action
--------------------------------------------- ---------

7. According to the USAID/Sudan Health Specialist, FAO has
allocated USD 250,000 for the AI program in Sudan. USAID and UNDP
have also provided USD 200,000 and USD 150,000, respectively, for AI
control activities in Sudan. An FAO consultant is in Sudan and held
a two-day workshop attended by representatives from the Federal and
State Ministries of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Federal and
State Ministries of Health, Poultry Chamber, and FAO. The
objectives of the workshop were to review the status of the AI
epidemic worldwide, focusing specifically on Sudan and neighboring
countries. The workshop also aimed to study the Sudan Strategy and
Plan of Action and provide recommendations to combat AI in Sudan.

HUME

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