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Haiti - Health : Flu crisis, official version of the Haitian Government
20/06/2013 10:07:31

Haiti - Health : Flu crisis, official version of the Haitian Government
Following the import ban on oultry products and meat products from the Dominican Republic, decided by the Government of Haiti, Pierre Richard Casimir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by Thomas Jacques, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development gave a press conference to clarify the facts and the developments in this matter.

In his speech, Pierre Richard Casimir explained :

"As you all know, at the beginning of June, cases of H1N1 flu [human flu] were recorded in the Dominican Republic. There was initially some confusion about the exact nature of the virus that was, the information conveyed reported H5N1 [bird flu].

Immediately, the Haitian Government, in its constant desire to protect the people of Haiti, took the preventive decision to ban imports of meat and poultry products from the Dominican Republic.

Surprised and dismayed by these legitimate precautionary measures, the Dominican authorities have dispatched, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, a high-level mission to discuss with Haitian authorities about the lifting of the ban against imports of poultry products. They took the opportunity to provide the Government of Haiti the Dominican Government cooperation in the fight against H1N1.

Following this meeting, the authorities of both countries have recognized whether Haitian or Dominican consumers can consume without any fear the eggs or poultry meat, whether these eggs or meat are produced in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, provided they are transported, stored and sold in hygienic conditions. It was in fact cases of H1N1 transmissible between human beings and not animals to humans. The Haitian government has therefore decided to lift the import ban on meat products while maintaining that affects poultry products.

Monday, June 17, a Haitian delegation went to Dominican Republic to further discussions with the Dominican authorities to find a favorable outcome to the conflict in the interest of both countries and their population

For over four hours, the two sides have defended the position of their government.

Haitian side :

- Strengthening and harmonization of Haitian-Dominican relations;

- Justification of the Haitian decision to take precautionary measures to protect the people of Haiti;

- Existence since 2008 of the ban on the importation of poultry products following the outbreak of bird flu in DR, June 6 measurement is taken to strengthen it;

- Reminder of measures that had been determined in 2008 to solve the problem (joint work between technical teams of the two countries, visiting farms, validation and certification by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE);

- The need for both countries to take decisions whose objective is the well-being. Ensure the quality of products circulating on both sides of the border;

- Need to take advantage of this situation to control the situation and establish clear rules to regulate trade in poultry products;

- Highlighting of the prevalence of the technical aspect of the business side. It is in the interest of both countries that the lack of avian influenza is certified by a regional body (possibly OIE)

Concrete proposals :
The Haitian Government lifts restrictions on imports of products of animal origin, including live cattle, meat and all products, while maintaining for the moment, the ban affects poultry products.

The Haitian and Dominican governments have agreed to appeal to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to develop a certification procedure of Dominican poultry farms likely to be declared free of all pathogens that could pose a danger to the Haitian poultry.

Dominican side :
- Surprise of Dominican authorities following the unilateral decision of Haiti to ban the import of meat and poultry products from the Dominican Republic, especially considering the harmonious relations and different commitments between the two presidents during several meetings;

- Recognition of Haiti right to take precautionary measures to protect its population, however, the measure was taken on the basis of false information conveyed by the press, so keep it would be unfair ; [note HL : Note that the misinformation did not come from the press, but officially came from the Haitian Ministry of Commerce, misinterpretation error ubsequently recognized by the MSPP https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-8788-haiti-health-the-haitian-authorities-recognize-some-mistakes-but.html ];

- Provision of the Dominican Republic o provide all explanations of H1N1 cases in DR. The technical team of the Dominican Republic is willing to work with the Haitian team to develop the protocol to regulate trade in poultry products;

- Absence of avian influenza in the Dominican Republic. Since 2008 more than 7,000 samples were taken and no case was positive. Information confirmed by the Pan American Health Organization in the Dominican Republic (PAHO)

Concrete proposals :
he Haitian government confirms the lifting of the ban on imports of meat products while maintaining that striking poultry products.

The Dominican Government also requires that is also temporarily lifted the ban on poultry products.

The two side sticking to their position, the Haitian delegation did not want to go beyond the mandate entrusted to him by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, no agreement emerged from the June 17 meeting held in Santo Domingo.

Perspectives :
A technical mission of the Republic of Haiti currently resides in the Dominican Republic. The negotiations will have to lead to the establishment of a certification process of the Dominican enterprises in the sector, with technical assistance from the OEI or any other international or regional authoritative making authority on the matter."

Learn more :
H1N1 : seasonal flu which is only transmitted from person to person
H5N1 : Avian influenza that spreads from the chicken to humans
H5N2 : Avian influenza transmitted only between hens.

See also :

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