12 April 2006, Jos - A poultry farmer and his family sitting outside their home. They lost their entire flock of 7 000 chickens to the Avian Flu virus. Veterinarians suggest that overcrowding and poor sanitation contribute to the spread of the disease. FAO Project - TCP/RAF/3016 (05/X/RAF/229): Emergency assistance for early detection and prevention of avian influenza in Western Africa. The primary objective of the proposed project is to strengthen the capacity for generating and sharing HPAI disease intelligence and using this to mount emergency preparedness planning against the eventuality of HPAI being introduced into the region, specifically in relation to migration of and trade in wild birds. To accomplish this objective, secondary objectives will entail:
? generating an understanding of migratory bird movement into and within the region and the potential for their contact with domestic poultry;
? building public awareness of the issues relating to the risks;
? strengthening HPAI field surveillance and laboratory support for diagnosis; and
? establishing information and technology network linkages with other regions (GLEWS and OFFLU) in the global system for HPAI surveillance.