Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Recommendations on How to Combat Avian Influenza in Nigeria

Considering the recent development and seriousness of the matter, the federal, state, local governments, poultry farmers and the general public must take immediate steps to prevent human death resulting from bird flu diseases in Nigeria.

The following are hereby recommended for containing the spread of avian flu and prevention of human pandemic in the country:
(i) Government should continue paying compensation to poultry farmers affected. An increase on the earlier amount of two hundred and fifty Naira (N250) per chicken being paid by the federal government should be considered since human lives are now at risk.

(ii) With the resurgence of the infection in the country, government should expand laboratory capacity and supplies in the country.

(iii) Federal Government should intensify effort in organizing sensitisation workshop/campaign for the public in the following areas:

(a) The danger inherent in people having contact with sick or dead poultry also in slaughtering, de-feathering, butchering and preparation for consumption for diseased poultry.

(b) The necessity of good hygiene practices for poultry workers by a strict regimen of hand washing and sanitizing with an alcohol based cleaner.

(c) On consumption of properly cooked poultry products “until none of the meat is red” in case of chickens and eggs must be thoroughly cooked to at least 70oC.

(d) On likely symptoms that signifies the presence of the avian flu virus in a farm or on an infected birds.

(iv) Mass media should also be used to enlighten the public on the risk involved in the further spread of the virus.

(v) The general public should be encouraged to keep surveillance so as to avoid further human health from this deadly disease.

(vi) In order to prevent human pandemic in Nigeria, both federal and state government should be involved in the following activities:

(a) Working closely with other countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen systems to detect outbreaks of influenza that might cause a pandemic.

(b) Providing adequate funding, advice and support to both local and international professional agencies that will assist in preventing pandemic.

(c) Collaborating with vaccine production industry to increase the nation’s vaccine supply capacity, especially in the development of a new type of influenza vaccines.

(d) Stockpiling of the existing antiviral agent that have been proved effective against current strain of avian flu. At least for distribution to healthcare and security professionals in case of pandemic.

(vii) Banning of importation of poultry birds into the country till the avian flu virus outbreak is put under proper control.

If all these are put in place Nigeria will be moving towards an outbreak that might lead to a Pandemic in future.

Check my other articles on Avian Flu:

What is a pandemic?


No comments: