Zimbabwe is still free from avian influenza but remains on high alert to curb any possible outbreaks, with a multi-sectoral taskforce in place to monitor the situation, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.
Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa said that the country had since come up with a 3.75 million U.S. dollars budget to cater for programs to deal with the disease, which is commonly referred to as bird flu.
A National Multi-sectoral Coordinating Taskforce on Avian Influenza and the Human Pandemic Influenza composed of specialists from various arms of the government and the private sector had since been set up to specifically look at ways of preventing the disease, the minister said.
The taskforce has developed a preparedness and response plan which covers areas including awareness creation in the community, human case management and infection control, surveillance, livestock and poultry management as part of efforts to deal with possible outbreaks, he said.
Parirenyatwa said the country has developed a "highly adaptable surveillance system" to monitor cases of the influenza, should they occur.