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March 02, 2006

Efforts in Nigeria hurt by distrust

The peasant farm hands were deeply suspicious as they watched the police marksmen trying to control bird flu kill 168 ostriches the farm had reared over eight years. Days later, when the 160 workers were invited for tests to see if they, too, were infected, nearly everyone fled.

"Most of them feared they would end up like the ostriches, to be shot dead for having the virus," said one of the more enlightened of the Sambawa Farms workers, Ibrahim Hassan, who turned up promptly for medical checks.

Almost three weeks after tests confirmed Africa's first cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain at a large plantation here in Jaji, a wall of distrust between the government and most of the population is posing a major obstacle to fighting bird flu in Nigeria. The campaign also is hampered by poor infrastructure, lack of resources and vast distances.

Read more in the AP article.

Posted by dymaxion at March 2, 2006 01:43 PM

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