ILRI and IFPRI are convening a consultation in Nairobi from 14 to 16 June 2006 to determine how the research community can best assist developing countries in the fight against bird flu.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are convening a consultation to explore how research can support efforts to control the highly contagious avian influenza, with special emphasis on the needs of developing countries and the poor. The consultation is a response to requests from donors on priorities for targeting their research investments for Asia and Africa.
The consultation has four main objectives:
- To share the experiences of those in the front-line of avian influenza outbreaks to provide a realistic, objective, and up-to-date backdrop for the consultation.
- To identify and prioritize immediate service needs that research can provide in support of preparedness and emergency responses.
- To identify and prioritize medium-and long-term research needs.
- To develop an action plan and decide how to put it in place, including the possibility of forming an inter-institutional task force.
Much of the present effort in fighting bird flu is focused on immediate actions – emergency preparedness and response. The research community, however, also has a critical role to play in anticipating and addressing medium-and longer-term issues associated with bird flu in developing countries.
One of the greatest concerns is that bird flu could eventually become endemic in developing countries due to large poultry populations, weak infrastructure, scarce veterinary expertise and a general lack of resources. Poor poultry keepers in developing countries are also at a high risk of contracting bird flu, because they live in such close proximity to their livestock. Those who keep poultry and are desperately poor have the most to lose – and many may choose to save or eat sick chickens. This could put all family members and their other livestock at risk of contracting the deadly bird flu. The impacts on poor livestock keepers in Africa are highlighted in a recent article in the New Agriculturist.
New Agriculturist news article
Falling fowl of avian flu? New Agriculturist 1 May 2006
Members of the international development community wishing for more information about the ILRI-IFPRI Avian Influenza Consultation should contact Keith Sones firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information about bird flu is available at ILRI’s Livestock in the News: Bird Flu page.