Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • UN plans bird flu alert system for North Africa

Shares

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has approved plans to create an early warning system to alert North African countries of outbreaks of the deadly bird flu virus, H5N1.

 

The plans, agreed on 24 December, will be implemented through the FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme and will cover Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

 

The FAO has warned that migratory birds could bring the virus to Africa from parts of Asia and Eastern Europe where outbreaks have been reported (see Bird flu 'is heading for Africa and Middle East').

 

Many migrating birds pass along the River Nile, where most of Egypt's population lives. Birds also use Algeria and Morocco as stop-overs during their flight to warmer places further south.

 

Mohammed El-Ansary, assistant to the FAO representative in Egypt, told SciDev.Net that countries would use the system to monitor migratory and domestic birds for disease and share information.

National action plans for combating bird flu will also be prepared through the initiative.

Activities will begin as soon as each country appoints a national coordinator and a steering committee is formed to implement the plans.

El-Ansary said the FAO would provide US$400,000 of funding to start the project.

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.