Pangasinan has always maintained its Avian Flu-free status however, with the continuing outbreak in the neighboring countries, Philippines is at high risk of the said disease.
Philippines and Singapore remains the only countries that have not yet been affected by Avian Flu.
With this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in coordination with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) recently conducted a three-day Avian Influenza (AI) Contingency Planning /Formulation Workshop for the Province of Pangasinan to sustain its present status held at El Pescador Resort Hotel, Bolinao
Attended by 35 representatives from the different program key implementors, the group has been clustered to map out strategies for the Contingency Planning (CP) workshop to ensure a province wide preparedness on AI which complements the national efforts and enhance the LGUs capacity to respond rapidly and effectively in case of avian flu incursion in our province.
“It is better to plan when it is not needed than to have no plans when it is necessary”, Jommel Merano, Training Officer OCD-Central Office Training Division disclosed.
Avian Flu / Bird Flu is an infectious and contagious disease in chickens, ducks and other birds which can be transmitted from bird to bird, bird to human. Infected human can directly transmit the disease to another person.
Bird to human transmission are called the handlers who are in direct contact with the affected chickens while human to human is the most alarming as the transmission is faster.
As of Sept. 2008, there were 387 AI cases reported worldwide and out of it were 245 reported fatalities but of no human to human recorded cases.
Indonesia and Vietnam were the leading AI affected countries.
In case AI sets in our province, the AI Task Force will report cases, implement strict surveillance, monitoring and quarantine of AI affected birds and humans in order to reduce risk and spread of the disease.
Only the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is authorized to confirm and declare Avian Flu outbreak.
A series of meeting has been scheduled for the finalization and approval of the drafted AI policies and contingency plans.
Among the sectors present during the workshop were the host agencies DA and OCD, Department of Health (DOH), Region I Medical Center (RIMC), PNRC, LGUs , National Government organizations and the different provincial offices led by the Office of the Veterinarian. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)