More funds needed, fatigue be avoided in fighting bird flu:PM

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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today cautioned against institutional fatigue in tackling the global health challenge of avian infuenza by never lowering guard and said that governments must act locally but think globally to check the pandemic.

Speaking at a three-day International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza here, the Prime Minister stressed the need for more international funding support to check bird flu and said that India was committed to share the experience of control and containment of the outbreak of influenza in poultry.

He emphasised the need for focused governmental intervention going hand-in-hand with community empowerment in addressing such health care challenges. Eternal vigilance by all stake holders was the price of good health, both of people and economies, he said.

''It is important to include all stakeholders in the communication outreach. In the specific case of avian influenza, such communication should cover the entire production, marketing and commercial chain of poultry production,'' Dr Singh pointed out.

Avian Influenza, like all pandemics, was a global threat and all must work together to find a global solution. Each Government would have to act locally, but think globally while dealing with the problem, he said and cautioned against institutional fatigue in dealing with such pandemics by never lowering the guard.

Emphasising the need for integrated approach focusing on both human and animal health to tackle the challenge of avian flu, he admitted that the budgetary policies must match the effort, with adequate funding of animal health programmes, along with funding for human health. A multi-pronged strategy that brings together experts and activists, researchers and administrators, government departments and civil society organisations was required to deal with health challenge like bird flu.

He said the Indian Road Map for 2008 would be shared at the Conference. While recognising the need for a long-term vision to control and eliminate Avian Influenza and the threat of human pandemic, the necessity of taking urgent action now and in the future must also be seen.

''Through our Road Map 2008 we endeavor to suggest action points, which are deliverable and achievable in the next one year.

India commits itself to adhere to the roadmap,'' he said and hoped that the Conference will find it a useful reference for future programmes.

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