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Our Stories

Informed of the deadly African Swine Fever (ASF)

by | Sep 20, 2020 | HF Radio, What MAF Technologies (formerly CRMF) Does

Wilson Guhe from the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) pictured doing a live broadcast and awareness to our remote communities within Papua New Guinea using CRMF HF radio. 

National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) representatives at Goroka – Noki and Wilson, recently visited CRMF and did a live broadcast through the CRMF HF radio to address and provide awareness for remote communities within Papua New Guinea about the deadly disease known as the African Swine Fever (ASF).

African Swine Fever is a severe viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. As the name suggests, the disease originated in Africa and outbreaks have already been reported in different parts of Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. Earlier in March 2020, NAQIA received the first cases of the virus in Papua New Guinea with reports coming in from the Southern Highlands, Enga and Hela Province.

During the radio broadcast Wilson informed all remote communities within Papua New Guinea of the highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease that has already affected domestic pigs in the three provinces. He listed ASF Signs and Symptoms which include:

  • High fever, lethargy and loss of appetite
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Laboured breathing
  • Swollen red eyes

The pig photographed, showed signs and symptoms of ASF and was tested as ASF positive during NAQIA’S recent trip responding to test conducted at the upper highlands province in Southern Highland’s Province, Hela and Enga.

Wilson made it clear to our remote communities that there is no vaccine or cure for ASF, but NAQIA has assured all communities that they have taken strict measures to ensure that the disease does not spread to provinces free of the disease.

Wilson added that NAQIA has implemented safe and appropriate import policies and biosecurity measures to surveillance the movement control of live pigs and pork products from the affected provinces. These strict measurers ensure that neither infected live pigs nor pork products are introduced into areas free of ASF.

Also, an awareness was made to ensure proper disposal of waste, food and carcasses of any infected pig is thorough and isolated from healthy pigs. The separation of the infected domestic pigs from healthy domestic pigs and wild pigs is also necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.

NAQIA Officers doing ASF and Farm Biosecurity practices awareness at Tsak Valley in Enga.

Wilson concluded that ASF is not a public health risk to humans, but it does affect the lives of many pigs and in addition to that it also affects farmers, villagers, meat factories and remote communities who make an income and living out of breeding, growing and selling pigs. And with the current situations that we are living in if we are not careful the outbreak of the disease could become another economic burden.

Photographed is Wilson with the NAQIA team conducting investigation and collecting blood samples from a pig incident that occurred at Tambul in the Western Highlands Province (WHP). 

After the live broadcast, we had a great exchange of “Q and A” as we gave people from each provinces an opportunity to ask questions to both Noki and Wilson. Most of the communities especially in the remote parts of Southern Highlands reported that they had seen ASF signs and symptoms on their pigs, but did not know what it was and why their pigs where dying until now.

 We are glad that CRMF could host and support NAQIA to do a live awareness broadcast to remote communities within Papua New Guinea who were not aware of the African Swine Fever. Now with the information provided to them by the NAQIA team, this has helped them to take safety measure and use appropriate ways and methods to address the issue to prevent the spread of ASF.