Avian Influenza Outbreak: Bono Minister directs VSD to upscale surveillance

Health Avian Influenza
Avian Influenza

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has directed the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) to upscale surveillance to prevent the further spread of the Avian Influenza that has hit parts of the region.

She said the Department ought to strengthen collaboration with poultry farmers and sensitise them on early signs and symptoms so as to report suspected cases early for prompt attention.

Madam Owusu-Banahene gave the directive when she inspected some poultry farms infected by the influenza at Kobedi, Fiapre, and Berlin Top in the Sunyani West Municipality.

She expressed shock at the outbreak and the devastating effects on the poultry sector, saying pragmatic measures must be put in place immediately to control further spread.

The Avian Influenza hit the region on January 13, this year, and so far the VSD had destroyed 24,803 birds, 973 crates of eggs, and quantities of poultry feeds in the affected farms in the region.

The Minister commended the VSD, security agencies, Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the prompt response, adding, however, that more ought to be done to control the outbreak.

She said the poultry value chain remained a major source of employment and that further spread of the disease would not only render the farmers jobless but also threaten regional food security.

“This is why all stakeholders in the poultry sector must support the VSD to stem the possible spread of the outbreak,” she said.

Dr Donald Joachim Darko, the Bono Regional Director of the VSD, said the influenza was imported from other parts of the country and advised the public to be watchful and report suspected cases to the Department.

Movements of poultry products from one place to another were restricted at the affected farms at Kobedi, Berlin-Top and Fiapre, he said, and called on security agencies to help enforce the restrictions.

There was no cause for alarm, Dr Darko assured, and that the VSD had barricaded and disinfected the affected farms to prevent further spread.

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