Spread of bird flu across nine states in Nigeria has forced the import of nearly 1 million doses of bird flu vaccine from Israel The poultry farmers in Nigeria would soon receive their share of the imported bird flu vaccine to protect themselves against the deadly infection.
Bird flu has now spread to Yobe and Nasarawa states, according to official reports. No case of human-human bird flu transmission has been recorded so far. However the poor veterinary services and inadequate surveillance systems prevalent in Africa could lead to a bird flu crisis in the region.
Kano is one of the states, worst hit by the infection where 102,000 fowls have been infected, based on reports of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Massive culling of 48, 000 birds in other regions (Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Bauchi and Plateau) have been taken up in an attempt to contain spread of the avian influenza virus.
The Government is also seeking advice regarding the use of vaccines to combat the H5N1 virus, said Bamidele Dada, Nigeria's Minister of State for Agriculture. This being on one side, farmers have already initiated import of vaccine on a private basis.
Nigeria has over 140 million people out of which 7 million people are dependent on poultry farming for additional revenue. In view of the above situation, it is high time that effective measures are undertaken to limit the spread of the virus and bring the situation under control.