Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nigerian mistrust helps H5N1

Farmers in Nigeria who rely heavily on poultry for food and their income in a country with a poor infrastructure, education and communications system, have been encouraging the spread of the H5N1 virus with their lack of cooperation with experts and officials from their Government.

Having watched the officials shoot all the ostriches on a farm Nigerian farm workers were asked to come forward for health checks. Most fled.

"Most of them feared they would end up like the ostriches, to be shot dead for having the virus," said one of the more enlightened of the Sambawa Farms workers, Ibrahim Hassan, who turned up promptly for medical checks.

Decades of corruption by Government officials have given Nigerian civilians a healthy scepticism of their rulers. It is proving a challenging time for hard tried Nigerian officials as farmers either hide or violently defend their chickens against their Government's actions to control H5N1, due to fears of loss of means of self support and lack of compensation. Nigerian chickens and farmers facing death by H5N1 or by Nigerian official have voted for H5N1. H5N1 is said to be encouraged that Nigerian farmers have voted for H5N1 over their leaders.

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