Health workers seal a sackful of chicken after culling birds at a poultry farm in Margram, 240km north of Kolkata
WHO has warned that the outbreak of bird flu in India’s West Bengal State is more alarming than it appears.
The worst hit areas have also very poor Human Development Index(HDI) records.
Children playing nearby dead chickens, dogs devouring the diseased fowls, and farmers hiding their birds from the officials indicate the gravity of the epidemic.
One health worker admitted that she’d never encountered such a difficult outbreak compounded by human ignorance and poverty.
The farmers are furious at the government for not providing medicines for their poultry!
The chickens are even smuggled to other villages, or are sold at low prices at the local markets.
The people are so ignorant of the hazards of possible mutations of H5N1 Virus that they are happily buying ‘meat’ at ‘damn cheap’ prices.
The West Bengal state has a very high population density; and international borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
Before the outbreak spreads to other areas, including the countries of the South & East Asia, and then to Europe & Americas, the government should buy the poultry from the reluctant farmers who are unwilling of let go of their income sources.
The world community should also help India in curbing the crisis, as the stakes are not only local, but global.