Cablegate: Sudan - Avian Influenza Update 11
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2283/01 2620610
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190610Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4620
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 002283
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 INFLUENZA UPDATE 11
REF: A) KHARTOUM 1925, B) KHARTOUM 2203
KHARTOUM 00002283 001.2 OF 002
1. On September 3, Government of National Unity (GNU) officials
announced that several backyard chicken flocks in Juba had been
found to be infected by Avian Influenza (AI) H5N1. This is the
first time Southern Sudan has confirmed cases of H5N1. At this time
no new cases of AI have been reported in humans or poultry in any of
the northern states. Additionally, the GNU is taking steps to
tighten requirements for poultry farms and the importation of
fertilized eggs in order to prevent the spread of AI. End summary.
Status of AI in Juba
2. At the beginning of August, Juba-based health officials received
reports of illness and death in chickens in Hai Jalaba, Juba, and
initiated an investigation. Chickens and ducks at several homes
were suspected to have AI, and specimens from living and dead birds
were collected and sent for analysis.
3. On September 3, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
convened a Technical Task Force meeting on AI. At the meeting it
was announced that the two batches of samples collected from
domesticated poultry in Juba on August 4 had tested positive for AI
type A at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in
Khartoum. After further analysis in the United Kingdom (UK), the
samples were found to be positive for H5N1. This is the first time
Southern Sudan has confirmed cases of H5N1. According to the UK
laboratory's report, the Juba samples had a slight variation to the
most common sequence of H5N1. Further analysis will be performed on
the samples in the UK.
4. According to FAO officials, there is no large-scale poultry
farming in Central Equatoria State, but it is common for people in
Juba to keep chickens and ducks, which range freely in communal
areas. Juba reportedly receives commercial poultry products from
northern Sudan and Uganda.
Status of AI in Sudan
5. At this time no new cases of AI have been reported in humans or
poultry in any of the northern states.
6. In late August, blood samples from dead wild birds were
collected by the GNU Wildlife Administration Authorities in White
Nile State. On September 10, the Federal Ministry of Animal
Resources and Fisheries (FMARF) announced that these samples will be
taken to CVRL in Khartoum for testing and if necessary sent to the
UK for further analysis.
7. Recently the GNU has tightened requirements for poultry farms to
ensure they meet bio-security standards. At the September 3
meeting, FMARF and the Khartoum State Ministry of Agriculture stated
that licenses will now be required for the importation of fertilized
eggs in order to prevent the introduction of AI into Sudan. The
ministries recommend that eggs be imported from the Netherlands, UK,
or Germany. Farms have already begun to import eggs to restock and
continue to upgrade their bio-security measures.
8. At the September 3 meeting, a representative from the GNU
Poultry Chamber of Commerce stated that the increased expense of
importing fertilized eggs from the recommended countries may have a
negative impact on the industry. Industry representatives are
concerned that Sudan's demand for imported fertilized eggs will
exceed the supply from the three recommended countries.
Additionally, the price for the imported eggs from the European
sources is estimated to exceed the price of Egyptian eggs, which was
the most common source before the new regulations.
9. The GNU has approved a 40 percent compensation plan for poultry
lost due to culling from May to July. As of September 3, the GNU
has not announced a national compensation policy for new poultry
losses occurring after July.
KHARTOUM 00002283 002.2 OF 002
10. At the meeting, the FMARF reported that the AI surveillance
system lacked efficiency. USAID staff report that the federal
ministries, state ministries, and CVRL need to better coordinate
reporting farm data, collecting samples, and leading appropriate
11. A team from FAO and FMARF plans to travel to Juba to assess the
AI situation and to develop a surveillance system.
U.S. Government (USG) Contributions
12. The USG deployed a consultant to the FAO, who is posted at the
FMARF, to assist in AI control activities for three months. The
consultant will assist with the establishment and training of a
Rapid Response Team and will provide epidemiology training for GNU
veterinary staff. The consultant will visit Southern Sudan and may
conduct additional training there.
13. Following the confirmation of AI cases in northern Sudan, USAID
has coordinated with the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), UN
agencies, and other relevant stakeholders on an AI preparedness
response. In April 2006, USAID collaborated with the FAO, FMARF,
and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to establish an AI Task Force.
USAID has also provided technical support for drafting the GOSS AI
preparedness and response plan, as well as other communication
materials. In collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID has provided AI training to
FMARF and MOH staff in Entebbe, Uganda, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Additionally, USAID has donated 500 personal protective equipment
items to FAO in Southern Sudan, which will be positioned in areas at
risk of AI.
14. Following the reporting of positive cases of H5N1 in Juba,
USAID is coordinating with CDC, the Department of State, and the
U.S. Department of Agriculture to help the GOSS and UN agencies in
Southern Sudan further investigate the outbreak and respond