Victor Yushchenko met with Emergency Minister Victor Baloha, Agrarian Minister Oleksandr Baranivsky, Veterinary Service Head Ivan Bisyuk and other executives to discuss ways to stop the spread of bird flu in Ukraine, presidential press office reported.

This issue is becoming increasingly important because the disease might start spreading again this spring, he remarked. The President said all interested ministries, government agencies, medical and scientific institutions should coordinate their efforts to resolve the problem.

“This problem is not the problem of one ministry or one agency. It affects many branches,” he opined.

Yushchenko said it was important to establish a National Coordination Agency to formulate specific goals and tasks to effectively settle the issue. Migrating birds will make us face the problem every year, so he thinks it is vital to formulate a range of permanent measures. Health of the nation is our problem number one, he said, and so we should “build immunity around Ukraine.”

The Head of State also said it was incumbent on government to objectively inform society of all measures adopted to resolve the crisis in order to reduce panic and prevent political speculations.

Then he said we should accelerate bird flu research.

“I would like to see Ukrainian scientists contribute to the solution ofthis problem,” he said. “We should clearly formulate a system of our steps and decide what we need to do for medical research, laboratories, pharmacists.”

The President also said we should cooperate with the international communityand apply their experience.

“Today, the problem makes the world unite and consolidate,” he asserted and added that it was really important to establish a dialogue with Russia to formulate a specific action plan.


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