Gov't ready to combat Avian Influenza
Monday, February 25, 2008
The Government of The Gambia, in collaboration with stakeholders, with support from the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) on wednesday, began a three-day sensitisation workshop on the prevention and control of Avian Influenza, ahead of any emergency in The Gambia, at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
Avian Influenza is a disease believed to have grown over the past years and has become a global threat to the livelihood of many. It is also believed that the Virus has not yet entered The Gambia, but its rapid outbreak in some parts of the world is said to be happening on regular basis.
In view of the above, the National Disaster Management Control of The Gambia prepared a document called: "The Gambia Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness and response Plans for Avian Influenza"(AI), to be used as guide for the implementation of its activities.
In her opening remarks, Fatou Jassey Kuyateh, Permanent Secretary at the office of the Vice President, said: "in recognition of this continuing global threat of Avian and human Influenza, and given its potentials to trigger a national disaster, The Gambia must be fully prepared both for the current virus circulation and for the emergence of a pandemic strain".
She revealed that in support of the request from the National Disaster Management Committee, the UNDP under the Disaster Management project, secured the services of an experienced Avian Influenza preparedness consultant for this important assigment.
PS Kuyateh used the platform to challenge the national task force to begin work in earnest in order to realise their objectives, and she expressed hope that the UNDP will kindly facilitate the proposed activity.
Madam Kuyateh also expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to the UNDP for providing the necessary support and resources towards achieving this national objective.
Vitalae Muntean, UNDP's resident representative in The Gambia, described the Avian Influenza as an acute and contagious disease that has been recorded in many countries throughout the world, which has grown over the past few years with a potential for socio-economic, human and biodiversity implications.
The threat of Avian Influenza is one of the many hazardous diseases facing the Gambia. The nation has had recent experience with many human and animal health related emergencies including cholera and locust outbreaks.
Essa Khan, National Coordinator of Disaster Management at the UNDP gave the welcoming remarks. The occasion was chaired by Abdoulie Camara from the department of state for health.
Author: by Musa Ndow