Dec 30, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – New outbreaks of avian influenza in birds were reported this week in Romania and Turkey, but wild birds that died mysteriously in Malawi in southern Africa were found to be free of flu viruses.Tests in Britain detected H5N1 viruses in seven samples sent from four areas in southeastern Romania, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday. The story did not specify what kinds of birds were involved.Authorities had ordered the precautionary culling of birds in the affected areas after initial tests pointed to an H5 virus, AFP reported.With the latest findings, the deadly virus has been detected in 22 Romanian localities since early October, the story said. More than 100,000 poultry and other birds have been slaughtered to contain the disease since then.In Turkey, poultry in the eastern province of Igdir, near the Armenian border, tested positive for an H5 virus, but it was not yet known whether it was the deadly H5N1 strain, according to a Dec 27 AFP report.About 1,200 birds died in the area in mid-December, and another 350 were culled as a precaution, the story said. An agricultural official said samples from the latest outbreak had been sent to Britain for testing.If confirmed, the latest finding would represent Turkey’s second outbreak of H5N1, according to the story. The first one was discovered Oct 5 on a turkey farm in Balikesir province in western Turkey.In Malawi, the government said tests in South Africa found no avian flu virus in samples from migratory birds that died mysteriously about 2 weeks ago, according to a report published by the Chinese news service Xinhua and carried by ProMED-mail.Thousands of birds called fork-tailed drongos had died on a hill in the central district of Ntchisi, the story said. The tested samples showed “no presence of avian influenza,” said Ben Chimera, chair of the country’s Avian Influenza Technical Committee.Chimera said the cause of the birds’ death remained unknown, but he added that they might have died because of heavy rains in the area.In other developments, another suspected human case of avian flu was reported in Indonesia today, according to an AFP story carried by the Jakarta Post.A local health official was quoted as saying a 48-year-old man died 10 hours after he was admitted to a hospital in the central Java town of Magelang with a high fever and respiratory problems.Blood samples were sent to Jakarta for testing, and samples would also be sent to Hong Kong for tests, the story said.
Dalung made the call when the Nigeria Hockey Federation led by its President, Senator Abdul Ningi, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.The bill, if passed and assented to will have a tax rebate for any company that supports sports. This is expected to generate funds for sports development while waiving a per centage of taxes paid by sponsors.“Elsewhere around the world, financial institutions pick athletes, adopt them and spend their money on the development of those athletes.â€œWe must have such traditions in Nigeria. Here, multinationals make billions in Nigeria and none of them plough back the interest or the profit of their investments into sports, yet, they put billions supporting sports in other countries.â€œThat is unacceptable and that is why I will lend my voice to call on the National Assembly to revisit that legislation which was concluded but did not receive the Presidential assent, because it is a desirable legislation for sports development.â€œIf we have that bill passed and assented to by Mr President, definitely our sports development will be rapid and massive,” observed Dalung.The minister also commended NHF for bringing hockey back to life and for soliciting funding for their various programmes.“Despite the challenges being faced by the federation, you have been able to make indelible landmarks as far as hockey is concerned in Nigeria and Africa. All that needs to be done is justice for other federations in Nigeria.â€œOver the years, we deliberately embarked on policies of elimination of other sports and this went down to even the elimination of institutional sports. This situation was compounded by the inequitable policy of only appropriating more funds to choice sports while others were abandoned to their fate.â€œI want to assure you that having successfully conducted the elections of the national federations, we will move to equity and justice in sports administration,” pledged the minister.Earlier, the President of the NHF, Senator Ningi said that since coming on board, the federation has been able to meet all its domestic competitions on the calendar.“We have taken part in the Super league, League One, National League and club competitions. In spite of the problems of funding, the federation members are still doing their best to ensure that we are always represented at competitions,” revealed the NHF chief.The Senator also solicited support for the upcoming Nations Cup competition billed for Egypt.“It is our flagship competition and it was initially scheduled to take place in August in South Africa but because of the international league that took place there, it was moved to Egypt.â€œOur ambition is to put Nigerian hockey back on the African continent and global limelight. Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa get endorsements from their private sector but in Nigeria, it is only football and basketball that they invest in and therefore we must do whatever we can to get the business sector to come up with how to move other sports forward,” he noted with regrets.He called on the Minister to assist the federation with sponsorship for the Nations Cup.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has called on the National Assembly to revisit the bill supporting tax waivers for investors in sports development.