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April 24, 2006

Malawi hosts preparedness conference

Via IOL, a South African news source: African countries probe bird flu preparedness.

Lilongwe, Malawi - Agriculture scientists from 19 African countries gathered Monday to discuss how vulnerable countries should prepare themselves for a possible deadly bird flu outbreak.

Mazlan Jusoh, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation country representative for Malawi, said although most countries in Africa were still free of bird flu there was an urgent need to increase surveillance and early detection.

"In Malawi, as is the case in many African countries, inadequate medical, veterinary and laboratory services, limited animal and human health education and the high levels of poverty make more people vulnerable," he said.

He urged African nations to step up public awareness campaigns and put in place rapid response measure to reduce the impact of an outbreak.

The five-day conference has attracted veterinary, wildlife and agriculture scientists from English-speaking countries including Nigeria, which is one of five African countries to have confirmed the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The other four affected countries in Africa are Niger, Cameroon, Egypt and Burkina Faso.

Posted by dymaxion at April 24, 2006 03:41 PM

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