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10.03.2006 General News

Expert advises media on bird flu reportage

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Techiman (B/A) March 10, GNA - Dr. John Kalim, national epidemiologist of the veterinary service has called on the media to be circumspect about issues on the bird flu pandemic since any wrong information could have very disastrous consequences.

Speaking at a two-day workshop in Techiman on Thursday, Dr. Kalim declared that the new castle disease resembled avian flu and in order not to mistake it for the other, media personnel should seek further information from veterinary staff or directors of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture before publishing any issue.

He urged the media not to do anything to scare members of the general public "since measures are in place to combat the disease, should it surface in the country".

"It is only the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Veterinary Directors who should announce an outbreak of the disease", Dr Kalim emphasized.

The workshop called for the training of farmers so they could identify sick birds and how to dispose of droppings safely and called for the census of all poultry birds in case they would have to be destroyed for compensation.

Dr. Mensah Agyen Frimpong, Director of Veterinary Services called on the farmers to b e on the alert since Nigeria had reported cases of the disease. He called for a ban on the transportation of poultry birds across the borders.

Cheques of five million cedis each were given to all the district and Municipal Directors of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and veterinary staff for sensitisation programmes on the disease.