- Ghana is seeking a meeting with its western African neighbours to discuss a common measure to prevent incursions of Avian Influenza. A call follows reports on an outbreak of bird flu in Nigeria's remote states of Katsina and Kano last month.
Acting Director of Veterinary Directorate, Dr Enoch Koney said he has called on Togo and Benin, further saying a similar meeting is also planned for Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
He said having realised dangers of bird flu the Directorate had notified all regional directors of agriculture as well as veterinary officers about the new cases in Nigeria.
Dr Koney urged stakeholders to have constant check at all live bird markets and monitor staging posts of migratory wild birds at wetlands while they strictly enforced import permits for poultry and poultry products.
Douglas Akrofi Asiedu, co-ordinator, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), said the outbreak of the avian influenza was a real threat to the whole world, especially their region.
He stressed the need for the nation to commit resources to educate and sensitise public on its prevention and how to manage it if it does occur.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said strain of avian influenza recently found in Nigeria was genetically different from strains in previous African outbreaks in Nigeria in 2006 and 2007.
It pointed to other avenues for the virus to have emerged in Nigeria, such as international trade or illegal and unreported movement of poultry. "This increases the risk of an avian influenza spread to other countries in Western Africa," said FAO in a statement.
The virus which is said to rarely infect people, has killed 243 out of 385 known to have been infected since 2003, according to World Health Organisation, while it has also killed or forced slaughter of 300 million birds.
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