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Bangladesh takes bird flu outbreak seriously

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  • Bangladesh takes bird flu outbreak seriously

    Bangladesh takes bird flu outbreak seriously
    By UNB, Dhaka
    Thu, 21 Sep 2006, 10:40:00

    A two-day workshop here on Avian and Human Influenza has developed the framework for a National Communication Strategy and Action Plan for prevention of the disease in Bangladesh.

    "The government takes the threat of 'bird flu' outbreak very seriously as it has been detected in India and Myanmar. Bangladesh remains free of the disease and this is how we would like to keep it," said Kamrul Islam, the Secretary-in-Charge of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, in his opening remarks at the workshop that concluded Tuesday.

    He said, "An effective communication strategy will help us prevent an outbreak and allow us to prepare in case there is one. Bangladesh has proven its competency in combating natural disasters because of its improved preparedness."

    The Avian, Human and Pandemic Influenza communication efforts in Bangladesh are supported by the government of Japan through UNICEF.

    This is part of the Japanese government's global support to Avian Influenza (AI) and HI prevention and control efforts in Asia in particular.

    Kirsty McIvor, Chief of Communication and Information, UNICEF, and chair of the Technical Working Group summarised the outcome of the workshop and the main focus of the National Risk Communication Strategy on Avian and Human Influenza.

    The main areas of the strategy include research, implementation of public awareness and campaign for behaviour change, coordination of efforts, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building.

    Technical Working Group of UNICEF, representatives from the Department of Health Services (DGHS), Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control and Response (IEDCR), Institute of Public Health and Nutrition (IPHN) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest Department and Bangladesh Medical Association took part in the workshop.

    At the inaugural ceremony, UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Louis-Georges Arsenault said, "So far no confirmed bird flu cases have been found in Bangladesh."

    "We'll however have to be prepared because of the outbreak that took place in the region and with the migratory bird season starts in a few weeks. The strategy coming out of this workshop will chart the way forward for our preparedness, he said."

    The workshop was also represented by BCCP, UNICEF, WHO and BRAC.