EU and FAO launch surveillance study project for bird flu in Nigeria

The European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation have launched a study into bird flu in Nigeria in a bid to bring the disease under the control, the EU said in a statement.

The six-month project, which will cost 522,000 euros (667,00 dollars) financed by the European Commission, is a coordinated efffort by the government and the international donor community to fight the disease, it said.

The Active Avian Influenza Surviellance Study Project will carry out an in-depth study on the incidence, spread and impact of bird flu in Nigeria as a means of eradicating the disease in the west African country, the statement said.

The FAO will carry out the study in close collaboration with Nigeria´s agriculture ministry.

"We believe this is only a beginning as the results of the survey may assist in identifying further areas of support to the avian influenza campaign in Nigeria," the head of EU Commission delegation Leonidas Tezapsidis said in the statement.

The outbreak of bird flu was first reported in Nigeria in February 2006 in a commercial poultry farm near northern Nigerian town of Kaduna and has since been identified in about 13 states and the federal capital city of Abuja.