Food is an important physiological need as it helps the body to function well.
Food is prepared with various ingredients put in such classes as carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins and protein and these classes have their sources. For instance, poultry is one of the protein food sources.
One thing to note is that in spite of its importance, food can have any of its sources causing diseases among consumers for various reasons.
For instance, the food source itself can be diseased or it can be unwholesome if not handled well by consumers.
When this happens, certain measures are taken to contain or control the situation.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has banned the importation of poultry and poultry products from Ghana’s neighbouring countries, as part of measures to check the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, otherwise known as bird flu in the country.
The affected places are in the Central, Greater Accra and Volta regions.
The Ministry has, therefore,banned the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts.
Additionally, it has urged the report of unusual deaths of poultry and wild birds to the nearest Veterinary Office or public health safety authorities.
Besides,it has advised the public to avoid handling dead birds with bare hands and consume only well-cooked poultry meat and products.
Furthermore, it has instituted strict inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country.
The Ministry has, however,assured Ghanaians that there is no cause for fear and panic since its Veterinary Services Directorate is taking all the necessary steps to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease to other parts of the country.
The Director, Veterinary Services Directorate of MoFA, Dr Patrick Abakeh, says seven farms have so far been affected and that in all, 5,811 birds have died naturally on the affected farms, while the Veterinary Services has destroyed 4,500.
The Ghanaian Times agrees with MoFA that the success of the measures it has put in place hinges on the full cooperation of the general public.
We are in a country where people, including even educated ones, rubbish health issues put on public alert, for instance, disregarding measures to protect their own selves.
We can refer to instances of such behaviour with regard to COVID-19 pandemic, where these people do not practice the related safety measures.
Even though the fatalities of bird flu may be low because not many people catch it because measures to contain it are available and readily prescribed, the disease can be very dangerous and fatal when toyed with.
Its typical symptoms like fever, sore throat, muscle pain, eye infections and pneumonia are themselves illnesses that need attention.
The Ghanaian Times commends the MoFA for its swift move in containing the bird flu and hopes each one of us would do what is expected for the country and families to avoid needless deaths and related unbudgeted-for medical bills.