Israel joins fight against bird flue: The Foreign Ministry sent medical equipment and protective, anti-contagion gear to Nigeria. The equipment arrived Tuesday at the capital Abuja to be distributed to other locations around the country.
Following the bird flu outbreak in Nigeria and fear of it spreading throughout the most populated country in Africa, the Nigerian government turned to the international community for aid.
Israeli Ambassador in Nigeria Noam Katz even received a personal request from senior Nigerian officials, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry decided to respond.
"Signs of the bird flu were discovered in several areas in Nigeria, especially in the capital Abuja, and the central and northern regions. For now, it hasn't been diagnosed in humans, but the fear it will be transmitted to humans is there", Amir Lati, head of the African department in the Foreign Ministry, explained to Ynet.
"The Nigerian government is afraid that the outbreak would reach other countries in Africa. Some neighboring countries have already prohibited importing poultry from Nigeria," he said.
'Nigeria personally asked for Israel's help'
"The first discovery of bird flu was in Niger, Nigeria's neighboring country in the north," he added.
Lati said that "the Nigerians distributed a list of the equipment they need and personally asked for aid from Israel."
"We got the request list 10 days ago, and with the help of the Foreign Ministry's international coordinator stationed in Nairobi, who happens to be a medical doctor, we managed to quickly put together all the equipment. It arrived at the capital Abuja on Tuesday. We also sent, among other things, safety goggles, safety suites, and overshoes," he added.
The Nigerian ministers of information and foreign affairs, as well as Nigeria's ambassador to Israel, thanked Israel for its readiness to help fight the outbreak.
"We have good relations", Lati explained. "We see it as a testimony to the close relations between the countries".