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(Jan 29th –31st 2007), Kampala

Bird Flu Workshop in ProgressThe media sensitising/training workshop for African journalists was attended by 9 journalists from Uganda and 16 from other African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Cameroon, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, and Ethiopia). Financial support was provided by the Commonwealth Media Development Fund (London, UK) and EAGLES Health Project (Madrid, Spain). The facilitators were Julie Clayton, Thomas Egwang, Charles Wendo, Patrick Luganda, and Otulah Owuor. First day highlights included a keynote address by Dr. Nicholas Kauta, the Co-Chair of the Uganda Bird Flu National Task Force and two presentations on the human impact of H5N1 by Mr. Ibrahim Sensasi and Dr. Grace Nanyunja, respectively, from the World Health Organization country office.

The second day featured four keynote presentations on the animal and agricultural aspects of H5N1 outbreaks by Dr. Joseph Litamoi from the FAO regional office in Nairobi, and on WHO guidelines for avian influenza preparedness and response by Dr. William Mbabazi of the WHO country office.

The presentations covered a wide range of issues about avian influenza, including the possible role of migratory bird populations in spreading the virus, clinical symptoms in humans, national preparedness plans, and the role of communication and the media in responding to avian influenza.

The workshop raised awareness of the media about important aspects of disease transmission, the role of poultry production and commerce, wildlife trade (both legal and illegal), and migratory birds.