Poultry farmers in Tema, Kpone, and Saki in Greater Accra Region have lamented over the outbreak of H5N1 influenza, which killed over 40,000 birds between July 2021 and January 2022 in the Tema West and Kpone Katamanso Municipalities, causing several farmers to lose their jobs.
This information was made available to a section of the media in the Greater Accra Region on a visit to the Tema Regional Veterinary Office in Kpone Katamanso Municipality.
Mr Lawrence Agorso, one of the affected poultry farmers in Golf City, Tema who revealed this in an interview with the media said, most of his poultry birds have been killed by the virus hence he has become jobless and emotionally depressed. “As I speak to you, I have no work doing because all my birds have died out of the spread of the virus and this has affected me emotionally ” He lamented.
According to him, he has invested a lot of resources and money in the poultry farm business which the unfortunate incident has entirely cut off the financial benefit he would enjoy. Adding that, other farmers in the region have also incurred some financial losses.
Asked about how the flu affected his birds, Lawrence Agorso explained that, “the disease started killing birds in a nearby poultry farm and spread into my farm because this virus spreads rapidly”.
Veterinary Officer for Tema Region Mr. Emmanuel Kwao Pecku updated the media on the outbreak of the virus detailing that, the H5N1 case started in July 2021 among poultry farms in Greater Accra which killed about thirty thousand birds (30,000) and spread to Kpone Katamanso Municipality in January 2022 which affected six poultry farms which in all, has killed about forty thousand birds (40,000).
“Late year we had the case a hundred meters away from here and from last month January, we begin to have the case in Kpone Katamanso Municipality. About six poultry farms have already been affected and this is the last but not the least farm,” He said.
Speaking on the measures to curb the outbreak of the H5N1 flu, Dr. Emmanuel advised the farmers to call on the veterinary officers when they detect a spread; as early detection is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus.
He stressed that poultry farmers should not create conditions to allow other birds and even visitors into their farms as any infected bird can transfer the virus to any other healthy farm.
Dr. Emmanuel also warned that the H5N1 flu also affects human beings and entreated farmers to bury birds that will die out of the virus to prevent possible spread to humans.
“The H5N1 influenza does not only affect birds but also affects humans. My advice is that farmers should not expose birds that have been killed by the virus but these infected birds should be buried to prevent possible spread to human beings. He advised
Dr. Emmanuel Kwao Pecku however called on the government and stakeholders to help fight the virus.
By Kelvin Nana Owusu Ansah
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