Guimaras prepares for Bird Flu
Some twenty chiefs of agriculture and health services from the five municipalities of Guimaras province attended a two-day Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) preparedness and response planning workshop at Punta Villa Resort recently.
The workshop aims to create awareness of the AI Prevention Program Manual of Procedures (AIPP Manual) and proper wearing and detaching of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Dir Larry P. Nacionales, OIC- Regional Executive Director of DA 6, said that the holding of workshop is a step in the right direction as awareness and development on the strategies to prevent and control the disease will be discussed.
He stressed that the formulation of provincial and municipal level strategy and response plan will be an effective strategy to prevent entry of bird flu in the island province.
He challenged the participants to help maintain the bird flu free status of the country considering that among the six provinces of region 6, Capiz and Negros Occidental are potential areas where the bird flu could occur for it is frequently flock by migratory birds.
"I am therefore urging the participants of this planning workshop to be vigilant and to work closely with the DA towards the maintenance of the country as bird flu free," he said.
The DA -RFU 6 has distributed 115 sets of personal protective equipment which includes gown, goggles, shoes, caps, mask, gloves and scrub suit to the six provinces in the region.
For the IEC campaign the department has also distributed 12pcs - signages, 567pcs -- posters, 2,800pcs - flyers, 11pcs - tarpaulins, 1760pcs - brochures, 156pcs - AIPP CDs, and 300pcs -- handbooks to provincial. city and municipal veterinarians, LGU-livestock technicians, provincial and municipal health officers, agricultural schools, poultry owners and private veterinarians all over the region.
Dr. Oscar L. Limoso, regional avian influenza coordinator said that for the year 2006 the regional task force has conducted a series of lectures on AI Protection and Animal Health program, project briefing on 2nd and 3rd level trainors' training for the Regional Management Team on Avian Population Survey and AI preparedness and response planning workshops which was attended by a total of 1,215 participants.
He stressed that our country is still bird flu free because of effective prevention by quarantine contingency plans in place beforehand, active surveillance and contingency planning.
"We constantly monitor AI risk areas such Sagay City, Cadiz City, Escalante, San Enrique, Bago City and Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental and Pres. Roxas, Panay, Ivisan, Pontevedra and Roxas City for Capiz where we collected a total of 660 serum samples and cloacal swabs last year," Dr. Limoso added.
As reported by the World Health Organization, there are now ten countries with human cases of bird flu thereby infecting 225 people with 128 deaths recorded since 2003.
Vietnam is recorded to have the most number of human cases at 93 with 42 reported deaths while Indonesia which is our back door neighbor is ranked second in terms of human cases with 74 and the most number of deaths at 57.
Dr. Glen Alonsabe, RESU Cluster Head of DOH 6 discussed triaging, referral and transport of suspected avian flu in human while Dr. Lerisa Balopeños, of DA-RFU 6 talked on farm biosecurity and infection control and simulation exercise topics.