Animal health

Sub-Saharan Africa HPAI situation update

8 February 2024, 08:30hours; Rome

Situation: High pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus (H5, H5N1, H5N2, H5N6, H5N8, H7 and H7N6 subtypes) with pandemic potential in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa since February 2017.
Confirmed countries (H5): South Africa*
Confirmed countries (H5N1): Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Réunion (France), Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Togo.
Confirmed countries (H5N2): Nigeria, South Africa.
Confirmed countries (H5N6): Nigeria.
Confirmed countries (H5N8): Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Confirmed countries (H7): Mozambique*
Confirmed countries (H7N6): South Africa*
Animal/environmental findings: 4 new events since the last update on 11 January 2024.
Number of human cases: 0 new events since last update (Last reported case 10 November 2021).
*Countries reporting cases in current wave (since 1 October 2023).

Map. Officially reported HPAI outbreaks (H5, H5N1, H5N2, H7 and H7N6 subtypes) in sub-Saharan Africa, by onset date (1 October 2023 to date)

Note: Map A shows confirmed HPAI events observed from 1 October to 8 February 2024 (current wave).
Map B shows HPAI events observed from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023 (previous wave).

Situation update

Table. High pathogenicity avian influenza events reported in animals since 1 October 2023 (i.e. current wave)

Virus Country
(administrative
regions affected)
Last event observed #Events since last update Total #events since 1 October 2023 Species affected since the last update or during the last observed events

H5

South Africa
(Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape)

27/11/2023

2

19

Domestic poultry and domestic non-poultry birds, Jackass Penguin

H7

Mozambique

29/09/2023

0

1

Layer chicken

H7N6

South Africa
(Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape)

18/12/2023

2

65

Domestic poultry and domestic non-poultry birds

For a summary of H5N1, H5N6, and H5N8 HPAI events reported in sub-Saharan African countries in previous waves (i.e. before 1 October 2023) please contact EMPRES-Animal Health

Peer-reviewed publications

Grace, D., Knight-Jones, T. J., Melaku, A., Alders, R., & Jemberu, W. T. 2024. The Public Health Importance and Management of Infectious Poultry Diseases in Smallholder Systems in Africa. Foods, 13(3), 411. [reference] Poultry diseases pose major constraints on smallholder production in Africa, causing high flock mortality and economic hardship. Infectious diseases, especially viral diseases like Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and bacterial diseases, especially colibacillosis and salmonellosis, are responsible for most chicken losses, with downstream effects on human nutrition and health. Beyond production impacts, poultry diseases directly harm public health if zoonotic, can give rise to epidemics and pandemics, and facilitate antimicrobial resistance through treatment attempts. HPAI, campylobacteriosis, and salmonellosis are the priority zoonoses. Sustainable solutions for poultry health remain elusive despite recognition of the problem. This review summarises current knowledge on major poultry diseases in smallholder systems, their impacts, and options for prevention and control. We find biosecurity, vaccination, good husbandry, and disease-resistant breeds can reduce disease burden, but practical limitations exist in implementing these measures across smallholder systems. Treatment is often inefficient for viral diseases, and treatment for bacterial diseases risks antimicrobial resistance. Ethnoveterinary practices offer accessible alternatives but require more rigorous evaluation. Multisectoral collaboration and policies that reach smallholder poultry keepers are essential to alleviate disease constraints. Successful control will improve livelihoods, nutrition, and gender equity for millions of rural families. This review concludes that sustainable, scalable solutions for smallholder poultry disease control remain a critical unmet need in Africa.

Kenmoe, S., Takuissu, G.R., Ebogo-Belobo, J.T., Kengne-Ndé, C., Mbaga, D.S., Bowo-Ngandji, A. & Ondigui Ndzie, J.L. et al. 2024. A systematic review of influenza virus in water environments across human, poultry, and wild bird habitats. Water Res X, 22:100210. [reference] Using 43 articles from four databases, we thoroughly examined water matrices from wastewater treatment plants and other human environments, as well as poultry habitats and areas frequented by migratory wild birds. Several influenza A subtypes were found in water matrices, including avian influenza (H3N6, H3N8, H4N1, H4N2, H4N6, H4N8, H5N1, H5N8, H6N2, H6N6, H7N9, H10N8, and H11N9) and seasonal human influenza (H1N1 and H3N2).

Grace, D., Knight-Jones, T. J., Melaku, A., Alders, R. & Jemberu, W. T. 2024. The Public Health Importance and Management of Infectious Poultry Diseases in Smallholder Systems in Africa. Foods, 13(3), 411. [reference]

Kenmoe, S., Takuissu, G.R., Ebogo-Belobo, J.T., Kengne-Ndé, C., Mbaga, D.S., Bowo-Ngandji, A. & Ondigui Ndzie, J.L. et al. 2024. A systematic review of influenza virus in water environments across human, poultry, and wild bird habitats. Water Res X, 22:100210. [reference]

Roberts, L.C., Abernethy, D., Roberts, D.G., Ludynia, K., O'Kennedy, M.M., Abolnik, C. 2023. Vaccination of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) against high-pathogenicity avian influenza.Vet Rec, e3616. [reference]

Abolnik, C. 2023. Spillover of an endemic avian Influenza H6N2 chicken lineage to ostriches and reassortment with clade 2.3.4.4b H5N1 high pathogenicity viruses in chickens. Vet Res Commun. [reference]

Fagrach, A., Arbani, O., Karroute, O., El-Ftouhy, F.Z., Kichou, F., Bouslikhane, M., Fellahi, S. 2023. Prevalence of major infectious diseases in backyard chickens from rural markets in Morocco. Vet World, 16(9):1897-1906. [reference]

Meseko, C., Ameji, N.O., Kumar, B. & Culhane, M. 2023. Rational approach to vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza in Nigeria: a scientific perspective and global best practice. Arch Virol, 168(10):263. [reference]

Agha, A.S.K., Benlashehr, I., Naffati, K.M., Bshina, S.A. & Khashkhosha, A.A. 2023. Correlation of avian influenzaH9N2 with high mortality in broiler flocks in the southwest of Tripoli, Libya. Open Vet J, 13(6):715-722. [reference].

Bongono, E.F., Kaba, L., Camara, A., Touré, A., Ngoma, M.P., Yanogo, P.K., Kanyala, E. & SOW A. 2023. Évaluation de la biosécurité et facteurs associés à l'influenza aviaire dans les fermes avicoles de Coyah, Guinée, 2019-2020. Med Trop Sante Int. 2023 3(2):25. [reference].

Isibor, P.O., Onwaeze, O.O., Kayode-Edwards, I.I., Agbontaen, D.O., Ifebem-Ezima, A.M., Bilewu, O., Onuselogu, C., Akinniyi, A.P., Obafemi, Y.D. & Oniha, M.I. 2023. Investigating and combatting the key drivers of viral zoonoses in Africa: an analysis of eight epidemics. Braz J Biol, 84:e270857. [reference]

Lebarbenchon, C., Boucher, S., Feare, C., Dietrich, M., Larose, C., Humeau, L., Le Corre, M. & Jaeger, A. 2023. Migratory patterns of two major influenza virus host species on tropical islands. R Soc Open Sci, 10(10):230600. [reference]

Jbenyeni, A., Croville, G., Cazaban, C. & Guérin, J.L. 2023. Predominance of low pathogenic avian influenza virus H9N2 in the respiratory co-infections in broilers in Tunisia: a longitudinal field study, 2018-2020. Vet Res, 54(1):88. [reference]

Alhaji, N.B., Adeiza, A.M., Godwin, E.A., Haruna, A.E., Aliyu, M.B. & Odetokun, I.A. 2023. An assessment of the highly pathogenic avian influenza resurgence at human-poultry-environment interface in North-central Nigeria: Sociocultural determinants and One Health implications. One health, 16:100574 [reference]

Miller, LmNm, Elmselati, H., Fogarty, A.S., Farhat, M.E., Standley, C.J., Abuabaid, H.M. & Zorgani, A. 2023. Using One Health assessments to leverage endemic disease frameworks for emerging zoonotic disease threats in Libya. PLOS Glob Public Health, 3(7):e0002005 [reference]

Abolnik, C., Phiri, T., Peyrot, B., de Beer, R., Snyman, A., Roberts, D., Ludynia, K. et al. 2023. The Molecular Epidemiology of Clade 2.3.4.4B H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in Southern Africa, 2021–2022Viruses, 15(6):1383. [reference]

Meseko, C., Milani, A., Inuwa, B., Chinyere, C., Shittu, I., Ahmed, J., Giussani, E. et al. 2023. The Evolution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5) in Poultry in Nigeria, 2021–2022Viruses,15:1387. [reference]

Nma Bida Alhaji, Abdulrahman Musa Adeiza, Enid Abutu Godwin, Aliyu Evuti Haruna, Mohammed Baba Aliyu and Ismail Ayoade Odetokun. 2023. An assessment of the highly pathogenic avian influenza resurgence at human-poultry-environment interface in North-central Nigeria: Sociocultural determinants and One Health implicationsOne Health, 16:100574. [reference]

Lo, F.T., Zecchin, B., Diallo, A.A., Racky, O., Tassoni, L., Diop, A., Diouf, M., Diouf, M., Samb, Y.N., Pastori, A., Gobbo, F., Ellero, F., Diop, M., Lo, M.M., Diouf, M.N., Fall, M., Ndiaye, A.A., Gaye, A.M., Badiane, M., Lo, M., Youm, B.N., Ndao, I., Niaga, M., Terregino, C., Diop, B., Ndiaye, Y., Angot, A., Seck, I., Niang, M., Soumare, B., Fusaro, A. & Monne, I. 2022. Intercontinental Spread of Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) to Senegal. Emerg Infect Dis. 28(1):234-237. [reference]

Panzarin, V., Marciano, S., Fortin, A., Brian, I., D'Amico, V., Gobbo, F., Bonfante, F., Palumbo, E., Sakoda, Y., Le, K.T., Chum D.H., Shittu, I., Meseko, C., Haido, A.M., Odoom, T., Diouf, M.N., Djegui, F., Steensels, M., Terregino, C. & Monne, I. 2022. Redesign and Validation of a Real-Time RT-PCR to Improve Surveillance for Avian Influenza Viruses of the H9 Subtype. Viruses. 14(6):1263. [reference]

FAO's support to countries or by country

Global level
  • The FAO Virtual Learning Centers have launched a new self-paced virtual learning course on avian influenza (AI). The course aims to raise awareness of AI and to develop capacity on its detection and prevention. It is available here. This is an introductory course, designed for a range of stakeholders with an interest in AI. It is intended to be useful for veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals and others working in the poultry industries. There are six short modules, each of approximately fifteen to twenty minutes duration. You can study these at a time and place to suit you and use them as a ready-reference resource as needed. The course supports multiple platforms and can be studied on a smartphone, as well as on a computer or a tablet device. [link]
  • On 21 December 2023 OFFLU (WOAH/FAO network of expertise on animal influenza) released its statement "Continued expansion of high pathogenicity avian influenza H5 in wildlife in South America and incursion into the Antarctic region”. [link]
  • A 3-day Global Technical Consultation on Strategic framework for early warning of animal health threats was held in Rome from 6 to 8 November.
  • OFFLU (WOAH/FAO network of expertise on animal influenza) released the avian influenza matching (AIM) project report with improved information on antigenic characteristics of avian influenza viruses to support vaccination programs. [link]
  • The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds released the statement on “H5N1 High pathogenicity avian influenza in wild birds - Unprecedented conservation impacts and urgent needs” on 11 July 2023. [link]
  • FAO Virtual Learning Center developed a Regional Avian Influenza Preparedness Course for East Africa. [link]
Regional level
  • Regional training for good sampling practices took place from 23 to 26 January at the Veterinary School in Dakar (EISMV) with the support of FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD). 18 participants from 10 countries from West, Central and Est Africa followed this workshop where they receive theoretical and practical training on procedures to collect samples from poultry in the respect of the biosafety and biosecurity regulations.
  • In West Africa, FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) West and Central Africa (WCA) has supported poultry value chain studies and the development of biosecurity manuals for poultry farms and live bird markets in Togo and Benin under the USAID funded project “Emergency assistance for prevention and control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in selected Countries in Africa”.
  • In 2022 and 2023, FAO ECTAD WCA supported Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo in collaboration with HQ in sending samples to the reference laboratory (IZSVe-Italy) for further analysis and sequencing to help tracing the origin of the viruses and evaluate their genetic properties.
  • FAO ECTAD regional offices in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) supports procurement of reagents (primers, probes, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits, extraction kits) and consumables in support of timely diagnostic testing and to enhance preparedness in Ethiopia, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda through USAID funded GHSA programme.
  • ECTAD ESA is supporting Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe enhance biosecurity in poultry farms which contributes to minimising HAPI incursion. Poultry value chain risk assessment along the entire poultry value chain is planned in 10 countries namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia as a part of ECTAD's ongoing support for HPAI risk mitigation/management.
  • FAO ECTAD ESA and WCA have been coordinating annual Proficiency testing schemes supported by USAID for AIV diagnosis at national and sub-national level since 2008, through Letter of Agreement signed between FAO and WOAH reference laboratory (IZSVe- Italy) prepared by ECTAD HQ.
National level

Benin:

  • A poultry value chain study was carried out, and biosecurity manual was developed to improve the implementation of biosecurity measures in poultry farms and live bird markets. The reports titled "Study of poultry value chains and risk factors of HPAI in Benin" have been finalized.
  • FAO ECTAD supports Benin by providing reagents, disinfectants and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Burkina Faso:

  • As part of the Technical Cooperation Program Project TCP/BKF/3901, FAO is supporting the strengthening of capacities to combat HPAI as well as the preparation for the implementation of recovery mechanisms for the poultry industry. To date, the project has trained 175 people in epidemiological surveillance of HPAI; and to develop training modules on good poultry farming practices, hygiene and biosecurity measures on farms with the training of 46 trainers; the trainers raised awareness among 300 model poultry breeders from 10 regions of Burkina. The project also made it possible to train 30 communicators and journalists from the written and audiovisual press on HPAI.

Côte d’Ivoire:

  • FAO ECTAD Côte d'Ivoire helped the government to carry out surveys through the acquisition of field equipment and to strengthen the capacities of the national laboratory for diagnosis of diseases such as HPAI. Standard operating procedures for investigating events in poultry have been revised, including outbreak investigation sheets.

Democratic Republic of the Congo:

  • Following the discovery of avian influenza in South Africa and taking into account trade between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the veterinary services have been put on alert. FAO, through ECTAD, had already pre-positioned Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other sampling equipment in high-risk provinces. Apart from strengthening national laboratories, other measures have also been taken to help the government send samples to international reference laboratories for confirmatory testing and molecular characterization if necessary.

Ethiopia:

  • FAO ECTAD Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Ethiopian agricultural research institute, implemented a pilot study to assess current biosecurity practices of poultry farm and identify gaps. The findings have been validated to suggest best practices to some poultry farms included in this study. The evidence will inform commercial poultry farms the value of biosecurity practices.
  • FAO ECTAD Ethiopia: profiled gender dynamics on poultry farm biosecurity and assessed areas where gender inequality prevails in the implementation of biosecurity measures – mainly infection prevention measures – to understand if differential exposure to zoonotic diseases occurs. Notable gender disparities were observed across the main domains of farm biosecurity, i.e. men have a dominant role in getting access to, selecting sites, and establishing poultry farms; They also had better access to PPE and decision making / control power over income from sales of poultry and poultry products than women, girls, and boys. On the contrary, women and girls were exposed to chemical hazards, risk of contact with pathogens, and, in some cases gender-based violence.

Gabon:

  • A technical and strategic support mission for the reorganization of Veterinary Services was organized by FAO Subregional office for Central Africa (SFC) with the ECTAD- Eastern and Southern Africa team from 16 to 22 December 2022 to offer Gabon restructuring options in line with current health issues. The proposals were welcomed by the Minister of Agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and Food.

Gambia:

  • A train-the-trainers workshop on improving biosecurity on poultry farms was organized, training 37 poultry value chain stakeholders and decision-makers. A Good Emergency Management Practices (GEMP) training mission trained 52 participants from different sectors in animal health emergency management, based on the FAO GEMP manual.

Ghana:

  • Community event-based surveillance is reinforced with support of the FAO Event Mobile Application (EMA-i).

Guinea:

  • Over the coming months, FAO plans to support the training of actors in the value chain of the poultry sector on biosecurity, the training of veterinary service agents from very high- and high-risk prefectures on good management practices, emergencies, carrying out local investigative surveys and active surveillance in the field, and supervision missions of field investigations; because the disease is still far from being controlled.
  • FAO ECTAD supports Guinea by providing reagents, disinfectants and PPE.

Kenya:

  • FAO is supporting Kenya Animal Bio-Surveillance (KABS) disease reporting platform roll-out for syndromic surveillance and the refresher trainings.

Liberia:

  • The Central Veterinary Laboratory has participated in EQA (Proficiency testing) for HPAI organized by the WOAH/FAO International Reference Laboratory for Animal influenza and Newcastle Disease (APHA) with the support of FAO.

Mali:

  • FAO ECTAD Mali conducted a study on biosecurity in poultry, dairy and pig farms to assess best practices and recommend actions to improve biosecurity measures on farms. Following the recommendations from the study, training is planned for stakeholders (women and young people) working in poultry, dairy and pig farms, which will take place in 2023 and 2024.

Mozambique:

  • After the index case, no new outbreak detected for more than three months. FAO ECTAD Mozambique supported the veterinary services with multi-sectoral coordination, awareness raising, and provision of some PPE, laboratory consumables and diagnostic kits, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for HPAI response. Samples were sent to the Reference laboratory (IZS-Ve, Italy) for further analysis; the results of the full genome sequences showed 99.98% nucleotide identity with A/Chicken/South Africa/SA2310/2023 (H7N6) (GISAID EPI_ISL_18127195).

Niger:

  • FAOR-ECTAD supported the capacity building of actors in the animal production value chains (including the poultry value chain) in the Niamey region on biosafety/biosecurity and good health practices in September-October 2023. For this purpose, a training guide was developed by a consultant, validated with the technical services and those responsible for the livestock-meat, milk and poultry value chains. The guides to good health practices produced by FAO were also used by adapting to the local context. Two local resource people supported the consultant in training stakeholders in the poultry sector. A roadmap aimed at strengthening each link in the value chain has been developed by the stakeholders. It will be used as a lobbying tool with the Government and other partners. It is planned to carry out the same training gradually in the seven other regions of the country.
  • An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) at H5N1 was confirmed on 27 January 2024 by the Niamey Central Laboratory (LABOCEL) on a family farm in Niamey (domestic poultry). The biosafety equipment (PPE, disinfectants, bags for biohazard waste) were provided by FAO ECTAD as part of the emergency project for the prevention and control of HPAI to the General Directorate of Veterinary Services, a was ready and was used to manage the household.

Nigeria:

  • FAO ECTAD Nigeria supported the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services (DVPCS) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) to organize a ministerial advisory Expert Committee (EC) meeting on HPAI vaccination. The EC finally advised Government to maintain the earlier recommendation of “No Vaccination” against HPAI in Nigeria.

Senegal:

  • Cleaning and disinfection activities were carried out at the Langue de Barbarie Wild Bird Park, in the Saint-Louis region, to prepare for the migratory season, given that some migratory birds have started to arrive at the site for breeding.

Sierra Leone:

  • FAO ECTAD supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to develop guidelines for Infection Prevention and Appropriate Antimicrobial Use in the poultry sector. The guidelines will provide all poultry farmers -from small scale to large commercial- with routine biosecurity procedures to reduce occurrence and spread of infections on the farms and promote effective and safe use of drugs.
  • FAO procures primers and probes for the detection of type A influenza virus, H5 subtype and H7 subtype by real-time RT-PCR in October 2023.

Somalia:

  • FAO is implementing a pilot poultry value chain development project.

South Sudan:

  • A total of 300 Women member’s groups were training on the production of poultry feed using local feed ingredients-method of Poultry Nutrition and Animal Husbandry practices in Maban County of Upper Nile State, from 27 of October to 2 November 2023.

Togo:

  • A poultry value chain study was conducted, and a biosecurity manual was developed to support the implementation of biosecurity measures in poultry farms and live bird markets. The report entitled “Study of poultry value chains and HPAI risk factors in Togo” has been finalized. Additionally, an awareness campaign on biosecurity measures for poultry value chain stakeholders was conducted using the validated manuals for biosecurity in poultry farms and live bird markets.
  • FAO supports active surveillance missions in live poultry markets and organized training for 18 trainers on biosecurity measures and good breeding practices. Also, FAO trained 43 Village Livestock Assistants, including two women, on community surveillance to improve early warning for the detection and rapid response to diseases.

Uganda:

  • FAO ECTAD and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries are finalizing the HPAI surveillance plan for the next season.

Zambia:

  • Active surveillance activities were conducted in the past 2 months (October 2023-November 2023). A total of 49 samples were collected from laying birds (22-75 weeks) in 1 breeder farm from Copperbelt province. All samples tested negative for M, H5 and H7 genes by PCR at the Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) in Lusaka.

ECTAD ESA

  • Despite no HPAI events reported in the region FAO-ECTAD continues to support annual Proficiency testing schemes for AIV since 2018 through USAID funded GHSA program at national and sub-national level in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) as well as supporting procurement of reagents (molecular supplies-primers, probes, PCR kits, extraction kits) and consumables in support of diagnostic testing and to enhance preparedness.

ECTAD WCA

  • FAO ECTAD WCA organized a regional training on Shipment of Infectious Substances from 26 to 28 July 2023 with a trainer from WHO. A total of 11 participants from 7 francophone countries successfully completed the training and were certified to ship infectious substances by air.
  • FAO ECTAD WCA supported Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo in managing domestic and wild bird mortality events in 2022 due to H5 HPAI including the provisions of laboratory reagents, consumables and PPE for field activities, as well as at-risk countries to address the situation as a regional coordination effort.
  • In 2023, the regional project OSRO/GLO/501/USA “Emergency assistance for prevention and control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in selected Countries in West Africa” funded by USAID continues to enhance strengthening the capabilities of veterinary services to prevent and sustainably control HPAI within the region with a focus on Benin, the Gambia and Togo.
  • FAO ECTAD WCA conducted backstopping missions: to Benin and Togo in from 9 to 13 May 2023 to provide follow up support also for the implementation of the HPAI project, assessed the readiness, reviewed planned activities, visited the veterinary laboratory of Lomé and provided recommendations to improve biosafety/biosecurity measures and working environment; and to the Gambia from 22 to 26 May 2023 to provide technical support in the HPAI project implementation, reviewed additional response needs for the recent HPAI outbreak and handed over emergency supplies (rapid test kits, disinfectants, personal protective equipment [PPE]) from the USAID funded Stockpile Project to the Department of Livestock Services of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Burkina Faso:

  • From 25 to 27 June 2023, a meeting was held in Koudougou to raise awareness among small-scale poultry farmers on disease recognition and their responsibility on early detection of mortality. Forty-five poultry producers attended the session. Before the meeting, a ToT was organized and intended to field veterinary agents who will cascade the training in their respective regions. The objective is to get 650 poultry producers sensitized on HPAI and biosecurity.
  • The TCP/BKF/3901 project has so far: trained 175 staff on HPAI epidemiological surveillance; developed training modules on good poultry farming practices, hygiene and biosecurity measures on farms and trained 46 trainers; the trainers conducted sensitization of 300 model poultry farmers from 10 regions of Burkina. The project also provided training for 30 communicators and journalists of the press (print and audiovisual) on HPAI.

Ethiopia:

  • Diseases due to the absence or poor biosecurity account for more than 56% of annual mortality in the poultry sector in Ethiopia, discouraging farmers from expanding their production. FAO in collaboration with the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute has prepared a biosecurity brochure covering three key areas - conceptual, structural, and operational biosecurity measures. The brochure provides guidance to small and medium commercial poultry farms on implementing effective biosecurity measures for increased productivity, and a more sustainable and profitable industry, and is aimed to be used by Farmers Field School (FFS).
  • FAO ECTAD Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Ethiopian agricultural research institute, implemented a pilot study in four municipalities to assess their current biosecurity practices and identify gaps, recommend best practices, assess the adoption by farms, and evaluate their effects on disease incidence/prevalence and farm productivity/profitability. The study was conducted on 40 poultry farms between July 2022 and March 2023, and the findings have been validated to suggest best practices to some poultry farms included in this study. The study will generate the evidence for poultry farm biosecurity which will inform commercial poultry farms the value of best practices, raise awareness and to scale up good practices along the poultry value chain, and promote infection prevention through biosecurity practices.

Gabon:

  • An FAO Emergency Management Centre (EMC) emergency field mission was conducted in Gabon from 4 to 8 July 2022 in response to the recent H5N1 HPAI outbreaks reported in Estuaire Province. The FAO-EMC team collaborated with the General Directorate of Livestock to investigate affected farms, assess the emergency response capacity, identify the current gaps in the animal health surveillance system, including the capacity of the Central Veterinary Laboratory of Libreville for the diagnosis of priority diseases, and develop tailored recommendations. The outbreak has been managed and no additional outbreaks have been reported since mid-May 2022.

Ghana:

  • FAO with support from USAID organized a one-day sensitization workshop in three regions in Ghana (Ashanti, Bono and Bono East) in January 2023 to prevent zoonoses resulting from handling, trade and consumption of bushmeat [link]

Liberia

  • In December 2022, FAO-ECTAD Liberia supported the Ministry of agriculture to investigate suspected Outbreaks of HPAI in Nimba; all samples tested negative for HPAI.

Mali:

  • In 2022, FAO ECTAD Mali supported Strengthen biosecurity practices at farm levels targeting 35 farmers including 8 women.

Niger:

  • FAO ECTAD Niger supported the development of a Biosafety/Biosecurity guide (2022) for actors in the dairy, meat and poultry value chains in Niger.  

Nigeria:

  • FAO ECTAD Nigeria, in collaboration with ECOWAS and AU-IBAR, supported risk assessment for HPAI spread in the country in 2022. A debriefing session and an After-Action Review (AAR)_on the SOP used for the mission were held virtually on 26 May and 24 July respectively, to the latter the national coordinator and epi-expert participated from ECTAD Senegal.

Senegal:

  • FAO ECTAD Senegal assisted FAO Emergency Management Center (EMC-AH) expert mission visiting Saint-Louis as a part of support to control HPAI outbreaks in May 2023.
  • FAO ECTAD Senegal trained 32 personnels from the Ministries of Environment and Livestock on sampling techniques for wild birds in January and February 2023.

Sierra Leone:

  • In 2022, when neighbouring Guinea reported HPAI outbreaks, FAO ECTAD Sierra Leone supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Food security to undertake active search for HPAI in Koinadugu, Karene, Pujehun and Kambia districts adjacent to infected /high risk areas in Guinea collected 161 samples (serum and swabs) and tested at the Central Veterinary Laboratory using ELISA and PCR. All samples tested negative for H5.
  • In collaboration with FAO ECTAD Guinea, FAO ECTAD Sierra Leone provided timely updates on HPAI status in Guinea during weekly One Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Group meetings which helped the Government to follow on the evolution of the outbreak and to assess potential threats of introduction of HPAI in Sierra Leone. This support complemented Government efforts to prevent HPAI incursions into the country.

Important links

Next issue: 14 Mar. 2024
The disease situation updates are produced by the FAO Emergency Prevention System for Animal Health (EMPRES-AH) as part of its mission to increase global disease intelligence.
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Information provided herein is current as of the date of issue. Information added or changed since the last Sub-Saharan HPAI situation update appears in orange. For poultry cases with unknown onset dates, reporting dates were used instead. FAO compiles information communicated by field officers on the ground in affected countries, from regional offices, and from the World Organisation for Animal Health [WOAH], as well as peer-reviewed scientific articles. FAO makes every effort to ensure, but does not guarantee, accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information. The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on these map(s) do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

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