Awareness and preparedness is crucial to tackle an outbreak of bird flu before next winter. The issue was underscored in a recent NGO network orientation workshop on avian influenza organised by CARE Bangladesh, says a press release.
Keynote Papers were presented by Dr Abdul Baqi, Project Director, Strengthening of Support Service for Combating Avian Influenza in Bangladesh, Department of Livestock, Dr Abul Kalam, National Consultant of Avian Influenza, Food and Agriculture Organisation and Avian Influenza Coordinator of Care Bangladesh, Dr Quazi Md Emdadul Huque.
Dr Baki depicted the present situation of bird flu and pointed out that Bangladesh faced enormous economic losses in the poultry industry in the previous year due to the out break of bird flu.
The bird flu outbreak has also been occurred on September 29 this year at Noagaon district which is a major concern for us. In order to response this crisis, he urged to create mass awareness and take preparation to combat any out break before starting the winter season as the virus of avian influenza (H5N1) spread rapidly in winter.
Dr. Abul Kalam emphasised to work together for avian influenza collaborate with government including the staff and workers of department of livestock, health, administration, police, NGOs, civil society, community based organisations, community leaders, politicians, local elected representatives to implement the national avian and human pandemic influenza preparedness and response plan (2006-2008). He insisted on informing the concern government officials immediately for any outbreak of bird flu. He assured that ensuring the multi-sectoral response we can be able to tackle any crisis of bird flu in the country.
The speakers mentioned that the contribution of poultry industry to the national production can be damaged due to the outbreak of bird flu. Because more than five millions of people are involved with this industry and the owners and workers may be affected. Moreover, the health of children and mother may also be affected as this sector provides a lot of nutrition for them which have a long run negative impact for the country.
Migratory birds are considered to be one of the major biological vectors by which the disease travels across and between continents. About 244 species of migratory birds visit Bangladesh during the winter season (October to March), of which approximately 21 species may carry the HPAI/H5N1 virus.
CARE Bangladesh in collaboration with Academy for Educational Development (AED) have taken a project "Civil Society Organisations Network Initiatives for Avian Influenza (bird flu)” to build NGO capacity through information sharing, training and facilitating partnerships with the relevant departments in the government of Bangladesh.