Journalists have been urged to develop more interest in the poultry industry by providing constant and accurate reports on the prevention of Bird Flu required to promote the poultry industry.
Speaking to the media about the highly pathogenic Bird Flu also known as Avian Influenza, Dr. Hanna Bisiw, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, said, this and other many workshops indicate their resolve to fight the disease in the country.
She urged journalists to join the fight against Bird Flu, H5N1 and HPAI by reporting the right facts, right control and containment measures to different stakeholders in the poultry value chain.
“It is the duty for all, especially the media personnel to know the correct facts on Bird Flu to enable you report accurately and confidentially that will not scare consumers from eating poultry products and poultry farmers from producing,” she stated.
Dr. Bisiw indicated that effective risk communication and social mobilization are an effective tool for the control and prevention of the spread of Bird Flu.
“As personnel from the media, the message I have for you on the control and containment of Bird Flu is that report exactly and accurately the information you receive from the veterinary authorities, report in order to educate the general public on the disease and assist in stopping the spread of the disease,” she emphasized.
According to her, despite the outbreaks of Bird Flu in the country, our industry is still resilient in the sense that the outlook of the Bird Flu in 2016 is recording decreasing number of outbreaks compared to 2015.
She indicated that a total of 36 outbreak sites were recorded in 2015 with 76,326 birds destroyed in order to contain the spread of the disease and 26,434 birds dying naturally from the disease.
She added that in 2016, a total of 25,970 birds were destroyed and 9,864 birds died naturally from the diseases with 13 outbreak sites.
Deputy National Coordinator of the Natural Disaster and Management Organisation (NADMO), Hon, Sylvester Azantilow said the Bird Flu outbreak in 2006/2007 affected mostly exotic and local poultry but the outbreak since 2015 has been observed to affect commercial poultry (exotic), local poultry, guinea fowls, geese, ducks, turkeys, partridges, quails, pigeons of all ages and species.
He indicated that in accordance with NADMO’s responsibility on pests and insects infestation outbreaks in Ghana, the National Technical Coordinating Committee (NTCC) on Bird Flu (H5H1) which is a standing committee of experts on Bird Flu of the Department of Pests and Insects Infestations of NADMO, have been at the forefront of the fight against bird flu.
Hon. Azantilow added that as part of activities to control and contain the disease outbreak, NADMO with assistance from UNICEF, USAID and FAO together with the Veterinary Service Department (VSD) organized advocacy programs in five regions in Ghana to sensitize and educate security agencies and communities at risk of the Bird Flu disease so that together the disease outbreak will be totally eradicated from the country.