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Education against bird flu

©

Latest update : 2008-04-06

The 19th victim of the bird-flu was an Egyptian woman, infected by home-raised poultry. For the authorities, it has become very important to inform people of the dangers this behaviour involves. But, bad habits die hard. (Report: Y.Saadoun)

In developing countries, breeding poultry is one of the most practical ways to survive. Chickens and other stock farming birds provide food for the poor on a daily basis, and they can eventually sell what’s left.

 

You often come across these birds and animals in the street and even in houses, living completely free. But the recent discovery of possible bird-to-man transmission of bird flu has made this coexistence deadly.
 

Last December Fardousse Kandil, a 35 year old Egyptian woman, died. She was the nineteenth human victim of bird flu. She died in only a few hours. Fardousse was raising an infected animal in her home.

 

The Egyptian government – in association with UNICEF and Japanese authorities – has started a vast information campaign to try to prevent further deaths. Its goal is to explain to people living in the country what precautions should be taken to minimise the risks of infection. Thus, 13 000 educators are traveling all around Egypt. Knocking on nearly everyone’s door.

 

 In Egypt, it's impossible to stop people from raising poultry at home. One in four chickens has been raised this way. These animals are an economic necessity for many people. But the authorities want everybody to be aware that what can feed them can also kill them.
 
 
Nonetheless it is hard to change.  Abdel Hakam, the recent brid-flu victim's husband, is sure she died of pneumonia and says he will keep raising dangerous animals at home.

Date created : 2008-02-07

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