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FAO supports Veterinary Services Directorate with Equipment to help in laboratory data collection, collation and analysis on HPAI disease prevention and control

FAO Representative to Ghana Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel handing over the equipment to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of livestock Dr Hanna Louisa Bissiw
31/10/2016

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has handed over laboratory and information Technology Equipment to the Veterinary Services Directorate (VSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to support their efforts in the Prevention and Control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

Since the outbreak of HPAI in Ghana in June 2015 the FAO has been supporting the Government of Ghana in the implementation of control and prevention programmes aimed at halting the spread of the disease. 

The items consisting of laboratory equipment, Reagents, Protective clothing laptops, Projectors and Printers to the tune of US $179000 have been provided for veterinary laboratories and field offices across the country under a Technical Cooperation Project to help in laboratory data collection, collation and analysis on HPAI disease diagnosis, as well as other animal disease diagnosis, so as to underpin animal disease control actions in the field.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of livestock Dr Hanna Louisa Bissiw receiving the items on behalf of the Veterinary Service Directorate was grateful to the FAO for the timely support since the recent outbreak of the disease. She said the FAO’s assistance has significantly strengthened the capacities of the veterinary laboratories in the country to rapidly and accurately detect incursions of the infection for the timely implementation of effective control measures.

The first outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI/H5N1) in Ghana was in 2007. This was effectively controlled by the close of the same year, however eight years after, the disease re-emerged and has persisted until now with over 62 cases confirmed, mostly in the Greater Accra Region. 

The FAO Representative to Ghana and Deputy Regional Representative for Africa Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel, reiterated the FAO’s commitment to assist countries implement measures in HPAI control and better manage the risk factors for spread to non-affected regions.   

The current Technical Cooperation Programme aims at operational and technical support for HPAI affected countries to better manage the risk factors for spread of the disease and to foster dialogue amongst technocrats and various stakeholders in neighbouring countries affected by the disease, notably Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo in view of the simultaneous outbreaks of HPAI in these countries in the West Africa sub-region.