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Over D6m Project to Combat Avian Influenza

Apr 15, 2009, 6:40 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh & Abdoulie Nyockeh

Dr Kebba Daffeh, the acting Director of Veterinary Services who is also the project coordinator of Support Program for Integrated National Action Plan Against Avian and Human Influenza (SPINAP-Gambia) has revealed that SPINAP project have secured 300, 000 euros equivalent to more than Six Million Dalasis from the European Commission. This, he said is aimed at strengthening national capacity to prevent and control avian influenza outbreak.

Mr Daffeh noted in an interview with this paper that SPINAP is a regional project and has a three year program executed by the African Union, Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources with funding from the European Commission.

According to Dr Daffeh, SPINAP project was developed in response to escalating global threat of avian influenza, especially its introduction into Africa in 2006. He asserted that SPINAP is one of the major Pan-African efforts to combat Avian Influenza by supporting these plans.

"This project among others aims to contribute to the reduction of the potential socio economic impacts and loss of human lives resulting from Avian Influenza in the 47 African ACP countries", he said, adding that this can be attained through the provision of financial and technical support to enable the participating countries prevent outbreak and ensure speedy contamination where infection occurs.

"SPINAP-Gambia is a collaborative approach between the livestock sector, health, wildlife as well as disaster management programs, UNDP, the media and the security", he asserted.

He further revealed that the project is comprehensively looking at ways of building the capacity of all different stakeholders at different levels including the general population. He described SPINAP as a collection of priority programs directly from the Gambia emergency preparedness plan for avian influenza.