Bird flu another challenge on Africa’s list

07-12-2006 | |

Ahead of the upcoming global summit on bird flu in Mali, David Nabarro, the UN avian influenza coordinator, has commented that bird flu is just one of a number of development and humanitarian challenges that Africa faces.

Nabarro referred also to the well-known challenges of malaria and HIV.
In regard to the bird flu summit, Nabarro said: “I think African heads of state would be forgiven for saying ‘Well, thanks for coming and telling us about this challenge — we will add it to our list’.”
The summit will include a donor conference aimed at raising more than $1 billion to provide an injection of funds to help poorer nations to improve public health and veterinary services to help fight bird flu.
Much of the new money is destined for Africa, which has seen eight countries infected since the last donor conference in Beijing in January.
Experts will discuss how best to monitor and control the disease given weak human and animal health systems on the world’s poorest continent.
The summit will review progress around the world, including Asia, hardest-hit by the deadly H5N1 virus.