11 million cedis urgently needed to fight bird flu

About 11 million cedis is urgently needed to fight the avian influenza which is fast spreading in the country. At least 30,000 birds within two months have been killed after they were affected.

Parliament is therefore urging the Finance Ministry to immediately release money to the Ministry of Agriculture to take action against the contagious virus commonly called bird flu.

A member of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has described the situation as an emergency and cautioned the Finance Ministry against finding excuses to delay the release of funds.

Robert Kwasi Amoah told Joy News’ Elton Brobbey the country cannot wait to get rid of the virus which can easily be transferred to humans. “We need to act fast,” he stressed.

He explained that wherever the virus is detected, all birds within the range of five kilometers radius have to be destroyed.

Part of the 11 million cedis required would be used to compensate affected farmers. Without the compensation, farmers would hesitate to report cases of bird flu when detected, Robert Amoah warned.

Meanwhile, Deputy Food and Agricultural Minister, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan has admitted funding to contain the outbreak has been slow.

Tightening of government’s purse in order to spend within its budget could account for the slow response, he hinted.

Even though his office on daily basis engages the presidency on the way forward, regrettably he noted that “not all that is required has been released”.

The country, Dr. Yakubu Alhassan remarked, would have taken advantage of the outbreak to equip the scientific community and all its experts in the field to work towards forestalling any recurrence.

He said the 11 million when mobilized would not only be used for the immediate containment of the virus but for a

“continuous surveillance and monitoring for at least one year before we can declare the country free of the avian flu”.

Meanwhile the Agric Ministry has placed a temporary ban on movement of live birds in Accra in order to contain the virus.

Credit: myjoyonline.com