Avian Influenza: Media Orientation Training Notes (USAID)

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Avian influenza is receiving high media attention all over the world. However because it is a “new” disease there is much misinformation and subsequently misunderstanding about the virus and its nature.

The health community is studying it and learning about the virus at the same time it is preparing responses and information for the public and for the specialists. The media is an important ally in any public health situation. It serves the role of being a source of correct information as well as an advocate for correct health behaviors. But before the media can take on that role, it needs to understand the virus, the issues surrounding it, policy and practices, and finally, recommended correct behaviors.

As part of the U.S. Government’s response to avian influenza, the Academy for Educational Development has been tasked by USAID to work with local and international media to orient them to avian influenza – the science and the practice. Following our work with media in several countries, we have developed Avian Influenza: Media Orientation Training Notes. Based on evidence-based information and tested training notes, this document introduces avian influenza to local media to help them cover the story and understand the complexity of the virus and its impact.

May 2006