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22.03.2006 Health

Media urged not to cause panic with bird flu issue


Saltpond (C/R), March 22, GNA - The Central Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Augustus Ayitey, has appealed to Ghanaians, particularly the media to desist from creating panic over the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu).

Dr Ayitey stated that the disease has not been detected in Ghana yet, and that poultry in the country was safe for consumption. He appealed to heads of institutions, who had stopped using poultry and its products to rescind their decision in order not to jeopardise the economy of the farmers.

The doctor was speaking at a workshop on the Bird Flu, organized by the Mfantseman District Directorate of Agriculture for some stakeholders in the district.

He advised the public, especially poultry farmers to report suspected cases of the disease promptly to their local agriculture extension agents (AEAs) for onward transmission to Accra, through the district directorate for thorough examination.

He cautioned that the examination must be confirmed beyond doubt before it could be declared as bird flu.

Mrs Felicia Ansah-Amprofi, the District Director said her staff, especially the AEAs have been put on a 24-hour call for detection and prevention of the disease.

She said the District Avian Influenza task force and the directorate have started intensive public education on symptoms and prevention of the disease.

Mrs Ansah-Amprofi cautioned against touching a dead bird with bare hands.

Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, the District Chief Executive charged the task force and officials of the agriculture directorate to regard their assignment as a national call to protect life of the citizens and warned that his administration would not take it kindly, if they played with their work. The DCE assured them of the support of the assembly in making their work a success.