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Response to Avian Influenza in North East threatened by insurgency, warns FAO

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Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)


The United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has warned that institutional capacity to respond to the threats of Avian Influenza has been weakened by a decade of insurgency in the northeast.

According to UN agency, since the outbreak of the virus in 2016, three million birds have been destroyed, with $24 million (N62.63 million) losses to poultry farmers.

FAO’s Head of Office in the northeast, Al Hassan Cisse, who disclosed this yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State, at a training workshop on outbreak recognition, control and containment of Avian Influenza for veterinary officers, noted that the risk of further spread of the virus to the northeast states is very high.

He said this led to the collapse of essential veterinary infrastructure, including disease surveillance and monitoring systems, as well as outbreak detection and reporting capabilities.He said: “This workshop is to strengthen the capacity of frontline veterinary officers on avian influenza recognition, outbreak investigation, control and containment in insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“After the completion of three-day courses, you will improve your knowledge in Avian Influenza recognition and enhance your skills and competence in all the steps involved in control and containment of the disease.”

Cisse said the containment of spread of bird flu virus, included outbreak investigation and utilisation of laboratory resources are very important. He stated that the veterinary officers would also work with our poultry farmers and other key stakeholders to effectively manage this threat, adding that poultry business could become the biggest in Nigeria.

He said the UN agency would work towards more sustainable and profitable livestock industries and production systems with benefits to households for food and nutrition security.


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Al Hassan CisseFAO
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