Chad is located in Central Africa and surrounded by countries which have experienced H5N1 outbreaks like Sudan, Niger and Cameroon. Up to 2007, Chad is still free of H5N1 outbreaks.
Chad hosts a population of around 24,000,000 chicken heads mainly living as backyard poultry. Semi-industrial farms accounts only for 2% of avian products. In terms of wild birds, Chad shares the Lake Chad with 3 others countries. This very important wetland is the wintering site for millions of Paleartic migrants which mix at this season with Afro-tropical species. Lake Chad plays therefore a crucial regional role in the movements and spread of waterfowls in West and Central Africa.
In terms of fight against HPAI viruses, an emergency plan has been draft and surveillance network has been set up based on the REPIMAT which started in 1995. Public awareness has been done through ministers interventions on radio and television. Special measures for controlling avian products flow from abroad have been taken by the government due to the threat of outbreaks in neighbouring countries.
Two epidemiological survey of the influenza virus in wild birds has been conducted in Chad, in February 2006 and April 2007, in the framework of the Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP) of FAO (Surveillance and prevention of HPAI, FAO TCP ). Objectives were to evaluate the Avian Influenza prevalence, in particular highly pathogenic strains, among wild bird populations, including both migratory and resident bird species; and to provide technical support to the national surveillance programme through capacity building of national counterparts on sampling techniques
These missions have been undertaken with members of the Farcha veterinary laboratory, the wildlife authority and CIRAD. The sampling has been done in Douguia hunting camp on the shore of lake Chad where tourist hunters come from Europe (mainly France) to hunt waterfowls between December and April when the Paleartic migrants are there. The team has followed these hunters and sampled freshly hunted wild birds. The samples have been stored in the Farcha laboratory before been sent to reference laboratories in Europe.