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Cambodia to educate remote communities about dangers of avian influenza
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08:07, September 26, 2007

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he Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Medicam will organize a community forum in Mondulkiri near the border with Vietnam on Thursday to educate remote communities about avian influenza and how they can protect their poultry and their families from contracting the deadly virus, said a press release on Tuesday.

"The event will be the first of a new series of community forums that Medicam, with support from FAO, will organize in areas of the country that have limited or zero access to TV and radio, to inform communities about the risks posed by avian influenza to their poultry and to their health," said Dr. Sin Somuny, Executive Director of Medicam, an umbrella organization of more than 100 health NGOs in Cambodia.

"The forum will veer away from the usual 'we tell you and you listen to us' speeches," said Guy Freeland, Team Leader of FAO's Avian Influenza Control Programme in Cambodia.

"We would like it to be an interactive exchange of information based on a consistent storyline depicted by a series of photographs that shows how avian influenza is transmitted from its source in poultry to other farms and villages," said Freeland.

The photo exhibit will be interspersed with posters promoting messages on how to stop the spread and protect both poultry and humans from the disease, said the release.

To reinforce the messages, TV and radio spots will be played continuously before the forum. Speakers and the audience are expected to engage in a two-way information exchange based on what is on the visual and verbal presentations, it added.

Cambodia has had 22 outbreaks in poultry since 2004 and seven human deaths, and the latest outbreak in poultry and in human was reported in Kampong Cham in April 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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