To date (May 2007) there is no reported cases of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus in Kenya. Ever since the HPAI virus H5N1 outbreak become inevitable to Africa, Kenya developed an Avian Influenza preparedness strategy of which one major development was the setting up of a National Taskforce on Avian Influenza. The Taskforce is co-chaired by The Director of Medical Services and The Director of Veterinary Services and has the following five thematic teams: (1) Surveillance; (2) Research & Laboratory; (3) Case Management; (4) Information, Communication and Education; and (5) Funding.
The surveillance team is split into two groups, one working on wild birds (Kenya is on a major flyway linking Southern Africa and the Middle East with several important wetlands) consisting of the National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS). The second is on livestock (i.e poultry etc) led by DVS among others. There are also other initiatives individually conducted by local organisations.
Two epidemiological survey of the influenza virus in wild birds has been conducted in Kenya 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.