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Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza: Getting the Story

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Thursday, 18 February 2010 10:45

Sample ImageThe U.S. Embassy in Kingston hosted a two-day regional workshop for journalists on the topic: "Pandemic Influenza:   Getting the Story"  The program was organized and funded by Voice of America, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta. The workshops took place on Thursday, January 28 and Friday, January 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the U.S. Embassy, Kingston.

Participants included Journalists from Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, the Bahamas and Jamaica. The main presenters were Brian Armstead, Development Officer, International Media Training, Voice of America, Washington DC; and Dan Rutz, Enterprise Communications Officer for the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

 Dr. Ernest Pate, PAHO/WHO Representative, Jamaica, made a presentation on “Human and Avian Pandemic Influenza: Preparing the Caribbean and the World”. Representatives from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health participated via digital video conference.

Topics included:  the ABCs of influenza – the basics for journalists; animal vs human influenza; influenza training – a journalist’s view; messaging and the role of journalists and effective reporting on infectious diseases.  Journalists were also asked to participate in individual and group exercises and to produce an article