U.S. donates bird flu equipment to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, May 17 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government donated 65,000 U.S. dollars worth of avian influenza equipment to the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries here on Thursday.

    The U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated 4,500 sets of personal protection equipment and 50 decontamination kits to the Cambodian side, a press release said, adding that the items will assist the Cambodian government in its efforts to fight avian influenza and other potential pandemic diseases.

    The equipment includes protective suits, respirators, goggles and gloves, Joseph Mussomeli, the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, said while addressing the handover ceremony.

    This equipment will be distributed to the front-line workers who come in direct contact with infected poultry, and will be used during the collection of samples and the culling of diseased flocks, he said, adding that the decontamination kits will limit the risk of animal-to-animal and animal-to-human infection during an outbreak response by reducing the presence of the virus in the affected community.

    Since 2004, Cambodia has experienced 22 bird flu outbreaks that killed 7 people, according to official statistics.

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