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Anti-bird flu campaign continues

posted on 16/08/2006: 1436 views

The Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD) in the third issue of its quarterly magazine Al Dhabi reiterated its efforts at monitoring wild birds for Avian influenza throughout the UAE under the National Avian influenza Action Plan.

In two months, a total of 60 sites were monitored twice, comprehensively covering the whole coastline and almost all the inland wetlands and other green areas where birds congregate.

In Abu Dhabi, around 28,000 birds belonging to 159 species were recorded. The highest number of birds was recorded at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve.

Meanwhile, in Dubai and the Northern emirates, 10 sites were monitored and around 12,000 birds belonging to 75 species were recorded. The highest number of species was recorded at Khor Al Khor, while the highest number of birds was recorded at Khor Kalba. This kind of large-scale monitoring all over the UAE indicates that the country's wild birds are still free of the avian H5N1 virus.

In recent months, the Ministerial Council approved the National Emergency Response Plan for Bird Flu, which was prepared by the Secretariat of the National Committee for Emergency response to Bird Flu, in co-operation with the relevant organisation in the UAE.

According to Al Dhabi, the plan aims to develop practical and operational plans to prevent and eliminate Bird Flu from entering the UAE and from spreading between birds and humans, and to establish a unified and common plan to be implemented by all concerned authorities during the operation of the emergency response and crisis management.

It also ensures to provide all available human, logistical and financial resources for all ministries, departments and agencies in the country, to develop a national database for the current and future emergency operations, to develop actions and procedures to improve national capabilities, to ensure the highest performance during emergency and crisis management operations.

Moreover, the plan aims at improving the technical and logistical preparedness for local and national laboratories to ensure capabilities for the identification and confirmation of the Avian Influenza virus strains. (The Gulf Today)


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