Viewing cable 06KHARTOUM1133
Title: SUDAN - AVIAN FLU UPDATE #5

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06KHARTOUM11332006-05-15 03:07:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Khartoum
VZCZCXRO5472
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1133/01 1350307
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150307Z MAY 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2785
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 0180
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001133 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AIDAC 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W 
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AF/EA, DCHA 
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS 
USMISSION UN ROME 
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH 
NAIROBI FOR SFO 
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, TSHORTLEY 
USUN FOR TMALY 
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI KAWC SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - AVIAN FLU UPDATE #5 
 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (SBU) On May 10, 2006, the United Nations Food and 
Agriculture Organization (FAO) informed donors attending 
the weekly meeting on Avian influenza (AI) that the 
results received from the laboratories in Rome confirmed 
an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian 
influenza in Sudan.  The Government of National Unity 
(GNU) has not yet officially informed the Sudanese 
public.  Over 200 chicken farms have been decimated to 
date with the outbreak still continuing at a fast pace in 
the Khartoum area.  Donors, UN, and several government 
representatives met on May 14 to form a technical task 
force to manage coordination, information dissemination, 
as well as provision of technical and financial inputs. 
End Summary. 
 
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Outbreak update 
--------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) On May 10, 2006, FAO/Khartoum convened the AI 
weekly meeting of donors to brief on the AI situation in 
Sudan.  Representatives of the Sudan Poultry Association 
also attended.  FAO informed the donors that the 
reference laboratory in Italy confirmed on May 4 the 
presence of H5N1 strain of AI in Sudan.  Despite these 
important test results, the government has yet to tell 
the public officially of the outbreak.  According to the 
representatives from the Poultry Association, losses due 
to culling of birds and destruction of poultry products 
and poultry feed are now estimated at USD 8.5 million. 
Total economic losses are estimated at over USD 40 
million.  Some 30,000 workers are also out of work, as 
over 200 farms have been destroyed.  The disease is still 
spreading in the farms around Khartoum, with high 
mortality among chickens and cullinQof chickens 
continuing.  Four hundred farms around Khartoum remain 
unaffected.  There are now also reports of the disease 
from northern Gizera State.  FAO and USAID AI experts are 
alarmed at the rapid spread of the virus, and deeply 
concerned that it is invading well set-up and protected 
facilities. 
 
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Response Operations 
------------------- 
 
¶3. (SBU) The control measures taken are completely 
inadequate to contain the disease.  There is no 
quarantine being imposed on infected farms, and workers 
culling the birds are doing so without the benefit of 
protective clothing.  The limited protective clothing 
that is available is being reserved for government 
officials who are overseeing the operations.  The issue 
of compensation has not been addressed by the government; 
this could encourage the owners of the farm not to report 
dead chickens and hence allow the virus to spread. 
 
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Coordination 
------------ 
 
¶4. (SBU) On May 14, FAO convened government 
representatives, USAID, the EC, and the World Bank, as 
well as UNICEF, WHO, and FAO to review and agree upon the 
terms of reference for an FAO-led task force that would 
provide technical oversight as well as coordination of 
donor inputs for the country-wide AI response.  Neither 
the Ministry of Animal Resources (the ministry charged 
with coordinating the GNU's response and the entity most 
concerned at this point) nor the Ministry of Health, sent 
representatives (Comment:  it was unclear whether this 
was due to an e-mail glitch or a sign of disinterest on 
the ministry's part. FAO is following up. End comment.) 
The Ministry of Science and Technology sent a 
representative, as did the Poultry Association.  The next 
meeting of the task force will be on May 20, 2006, when 
 
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the terms of reference will be finalized and circulated. 
USAID is a permanent member, as is the EC. In the 
meantime, the government's National Task Force has not 
met for the past month nor has the operational task force 
set up at the Ministry of Health. 
 
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Contributions 
------------- 
 
¶5. (SBU) USAID has deployed Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner 
for three weeks to provide support to FAO in its work 
with the Ministry of Animal Resources and the Poultry 
Association.  USAID also expects that 1,500 sets of 
personal protective equipment (PPE) will arrive by May 19 
for the response operations in the North; an additional 
500 will be delivered to Juba for preparedness purposes. 
Three hundred sets have already been delivered to 
Khartoum, of which 100 are to be sent to Juba.  USAID has 
also committed USD 200,000 towards the FAO proposal 
submitted to USAID/W to assist in ramping up the 
management of the outbreak. No other donor has yet 
contributed to the AI response in Sudan. 
 
¶6. (SBU) FAO has deployed an AI expert for one month. WHO 
has deployed NAMRU-3 to investigate the suspected human 
case, but has now returned to Cairo.  UNICEF is leading 
work on a communications strategy that invlves preparing 
posters, radio spots, and other information materials. 
All UN agencies are drawing from their own resources 
pending specific donor contributions. 
 
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Southern Sudan - Preparedness 
----------------------------- 
 
¶7. (SBU) The task force agreed that the terms of 
reference would cover the needs of GOSS in addition to 
the GNU.  As such, a representative of the GOSS should be 
invited to participate in the task force and come to 
Khartoum for meetings.  It was also agreed that although 
there would be a national strategy, due to the different 
nature of the poultry industry in the south (backyard 
poultry raising versus large-scale farming, which 
prevails in the north), the GOSS would have to have a 
response plan tailored to its needs. 
 
HUME