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Health News Sat, 3 Oct 2015

'Set up emergency response teams to tackle poultry diseases'

Dr. Kofi Kwansah Filson, the Ashanti Regional Director of Veterinary Services, has advocated the setting up of permanent emergency poultry disease response teams (PEPDRTs) across the nation to monitor and swiftly tackle any outbreak of the avian influenza disease.

He said even though the recent bird flu outbreak, had been contained the risk of possible infections still remained high due to the presence of the disease in neighbouring West African countries.

This makes it important to strengthen farm surveillance to quickly respond to suspected cases.

Dr. Filson was speaking at a meeting held to brief the regional management committee on the influenza in Kumasi.

About 2,000 birds were destroyed on a farm in Obuasi by the Incidence Command Team after the detection of the viral infection during the early parts of the year.

They applied the water-based foam technology - the latest environmentally-friendly and more humane method to depopulate infected birds.

He said the technology had received international endorsement for its effectiveness and suggested its adoption as the standard model for destroying sick birds.

Dr. Filson appealed to poultry farmers to remain alert and observe strict biosecurity on their farms to help prevent infections.

He announced the decision by the Animal and Plant Health Inspectorate Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist in the training of key stakeholders, to adequately equip them with skills, to tackle future outbreak of the disease.

He saluted the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), NADMO, Veterinary Services Department, the Health Ministry, the Police, Regional Coordinating Council and the Obuasi Municipal Assembly for working together to stop the spread of the influenza in the region.

Mr Kwaku Aninkora-Sie, the Regional NADMO Coordinator, expressed satisfaction with what he said was the high level of awareness created among the people.

The result was that farmers were now reporting unusual happenings on their farms to the appropriate authorities for prompt action.

Source: GNA