DUSHANBE, January 20, Asia-Plus - Tajik health and veterinary authorities are considering the possibility of putting ban on sale of chickens and other birds and poultry products in shops and on markets of Tajikistan. 

Tajikistan ’s Chief Veterinarian, Mullojon Amirbekov, remarked this yesterday telling a meeting on planning preparedness for pandemic of avian influenza in Tajikistan .  “It could be one of measures to prevent spread of H5N1 virus to Tajikistan ,” said Amirbekov, “I would recommend the government to ban imports of chickens and birds and poultry products at all.”    

Despite the fact that no cases of bird flu have so far been registered in the republic, medical workers continue keeping up with the situation and all veterinary and sanitary-epidemiological services have been put on alert, Mullojon Amirbekov stressed. 

Chief State Sanitary Physician of Tajikistan , Ziyovuddin Afghonov, has advised once again Tajik citizens not to travel unnecessarily to the countries, where an outbreak of bird flu was registered.     

“We realize that preventive measures taken by us such as quarantine at all poultry farms across the republic and ban on imports of chickens and poultry products may negatively impact the economic situation in the republic but if do not do this now, we will have to pay higher price,” Ziyovuddin Afghonov stressed. 

In the meantime, according to Ms. Nazira Ortiqova, an employee with the Dushanbe Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), international donors that met in Beijing have pledged $1.2 to fight bird flu worldwide.  “Now the Government of Tajikistan has to start as son as possible negotiations with donor countries and organizations, first of all with the World Bank on providing a part of these funds for taking measures to prevent spread of bird flu in the republic,” said Ms. Ortiqova, “The Tajik Government ought to work out concerted national plan of actions”  

International media report bird flu has killed at least 79 people, mainly in Asia , since 2003.