Victor Yushchenko met with Dr. David Nabarro, UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza. In his opening statement, the President said “Ukrainian government has taken exhaustive and full steps to localize the disease.”
“Today, we are actively carrying out our national policy to prevent bird flu,” he claimed.
The Head of State also said Ukraine planned to adopt a diverse range of preventive measures because the situation might get worse in spring and added that the authorities had managed to confidently respond to the outbreak of bird flu and, most importantly, make the people partners in the fight against the virus and pay damages.
The President admitted that the problem was a challenge for both Ukraine and the world community. Our country must be prepared to constantly deal with this disease because major migration routes lie across Ukraine, he remarked.
Yushchenko also informed those present of all measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of bird flu. We established a coordinating council and asked the European Union and the United States of America for help.
“I have spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin to coordinate our activities. I think in the near future we will establish a bilateral commission or some other structure to […] resolve this problem,” he said.
The President then stressed Ukraine wanted to find new ways for bird flu cooperation. He said international organizations might help us create a well-equipped lab.
“We find the support of the international community very important,” he asserted.
In his turn, Dr. Nabarro said Ukrainian government had commendably resolved the bird flu crisis in Crimea.
“I believe Ukraine’s response can be a good example to other countries. Your speed and efficiency helped stop the spread of the virus in other parts of your country,” he added.
Mr. Nabarro remarked that the UNO would consider ways to help Ukraine in the framework of its flu prevention initiatives. He also characterized plans of the Ukrainian government as “quite purposeful”. He opined that Ukraine could share its experience with other regions where the problem is still acute.
“I hope we will be able to keep relying on you,” he said.
First Deputy Health Minister Serhiy Berezhnov, First Deputy Head of the Veterinary Department Volodymyr Gorzheyev, Bird Flu Coordinator Vadym Grinko, and UNO Coordinator for Ukraine Francis O’Donnel attended the meeting.
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