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UPDATED: 13:17, March 23, 2006
UN, Africa call for concerted efforts to fight bird flu pandemic
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United Nations agencies and 46 African countries Wednesday called for coordinated efforts of African countries as well as between African countries and UN agencies to tackle the grave threat of the bird flu pandemic on the African Continent.

According to a joint declaration released after the three-day conference on bird flu, which ended here Wednesday, each country needs to implement internationally approved measures, and to give priority to preparing an integrated plan in order to fight the disease.

The declaration said the leaders of African countries should "give proof of a firm political engagement" in the fight against bird flu.

"We reaffirm the need for countries and the international community to mobilize additional financial and technical resources, from local and international sources," said the document.

The representatives at the meeting agreed that Africa need more virus-testing facilities to identify the H- and N- sub-types of bird flu, which is essential in appraising the risk from specific outbreaks and tracing the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain.

The three-day talks aimed to assess the risk faced by the continent and help African countries formulate and improve their anti-bird flu strategies and programs.

Source: Xinhua

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