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OIRSA donates equipment to the Belize Agriculture Health Authority to enhance diagnostic capacity for Avian Influenza

Posted: Monday, July 3, 2023. 6:55 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) Animal Health Department received laptops and printing materials from the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA) on Monday. The donation, worth US$30,000.00, aims to enhance BAHA’s diagnostic capacity and surveillance program for Avian Influenza. The equipment will enable BAHA to respond quickly and effectively if bird flu is detected in Belize.

BAHA is closely monitoring Avian Influenza, a deadly viral infection that affects poultry. BAHA has ordered laboratory reagents worth US$7,700.00 from a reference lab in the USA to test for this disease. OIRSA and SICA have also approved an additional US$5,500.00 for laboratory reagents for BAHA.

OIRSA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, will conduct an awareness campaign to inform farmers about the symptoms and prevention of Avian Influenza. OIRSA, BAHA and the Ministry are working together to protect Belize’s poultry industry from this exotic threat.

OIRSA has also allocated emergency funds for its member countries to prepare and monitor for Avian Influenza in wild birds and backyard and commercial poultry farms. The disease has been spreading worldwide and in Central America, but Belize remains free of it so far.

 

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