Ghana: Agric ministry confirms the outbreak of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) disease in the country

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture through its Veterinary Services Directorate has confirmed the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, otherwise known as Bird Flu in some parts of the country.

These are the Greater Accra, Central, and Volta Regions. The outbreak of the disease follows the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January 2021.

Through effective surveillance and disease control management, the Veterinary Services Directorate has prevented the extension of the disease into Ghana until now.

Cases of the Bird Flu disease were previously recorded in 2007, 2015, 2016, and 2018, with a significant economic impact on affected poultry farmers.

The zoonotic nature of the disease calls for public alert and vigilance to mitigate the possible impact on the poultry industry and public health in general.

Accordingly, the Ministry announces the following measures for immediate compliance:

  1. A total ban on the importation of Poultry and Poultry products from neighbouring countries where the prevalence of the disease has been confirmed.
  2. A ban on the movement of Poultry and Poultry Products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country, and strict inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country.
  3. Intensification of public awareness and sensitization by Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies, especially in the affected areas.

To ensure public safety citizens are advised to:

  • report any unusual death of domestic poultry and wild birds to the nearest Veterinary office and public authorities,
  • avoid the handling of dead birds with bare hands at all cost,
  • consume only well-cooked poultry meat and poultry products.

The Ministry wishes to assure the general public that there is no cause for fear and panic since the Veterinary Services Directorate is taking all necessary steps to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease to other parts of the country. The success of this call hinges on the full cooperation of the general public.

For further inquiries, kindly contact Dr. Patrick Abakeh, Director Veterinary Services Directorate on phone number 020-8240734.

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