PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT OF AVIAN INFLUENZA EPIZOOTICS IN NIGERIA

This map can show us the risk profile of AI in Nigeria and proactive approach to National risk management can commence from the state that presented the highest sero epidemiological indexes.
Panicked solutions are reactionary strategies and that is characteristic of the third World Countries in managing challenges. The risk posed by migratory birds and the subsequent epizootic periodically associated to their migratory trends, demand for a good funding to the epidemiology department of the Livestock sectors and the universities so as to have a rich knowledge update on this aspect of Veterinary Medicine.

The epizootiology of Avian Influenza (AI) in Nigeria is built on the foundation of migratory birds. During the tenure of most respected Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi, who is presently the President of The African Development Bank (ADB), a meeting with the concerned members of Poultry Association of Nigeria under the able leadership of Dr Ayo Oduntan, was summoned. I made a suggestion for the development of a disease map for Nigeria by the Ministry of Agriculture as a guide to managing epizootic of AI in the country. The Minister was very much impressed and directed that the ministry should include me in the technical committee for solution of the disease. But eventually, my name never appeared in the list as I was excluded and never invited even as the committee progressed.

Why did I suggest a risk map for cases of AI in Nigeria?
Sentinels, vermin, ducks and migratory birds that have seasons and routes of migration had been repeatedly incriminated as precursors to most viral epizootic in Nigeria. Recall that the first Avian influenza in 2006 occurred just few months after a reported appearance of a tired tagged migratory bird found somewhere in the South-west.

This bird came from Australia for you to imagine how far their destination could be and the risk they carry along with implications on man and animal health. Though this bird was not linked with AI but many migratory birds at least, three groups out of the four known groups target Nigeria directly and are obvious risk to disease epizootics in Nigeria.

My suggestion then was to conduct a National Sero-epidemiological Survey on carriers of AI like Ducks and migratory birds in respective regions of Nigeria. The outcome will then be scored per state empirically and translated into an Avian Influenza risk map for Nigeria. This tool will make the work of our Minister for Agriculture friendly for a total risk management of Avian Influenza in Nigeria.
This map can show us the risk profile of AI in Nigeria and proactive approach to National risk management can commence from the state that presented the highest sero epidemiological indexes. In fact such states can qualify for a preferential regulated Avian Influenza vaccination.

Avian influenza vaccination is one of the advocacy initiative of Livestock industry foundation for Africa. For more information follow us on www.llifango.org or https://blog.lifango.org. You can also send enquiries to lifango48@gmail.com.

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