What is happening?
In January 2008, a 16-month old boy contracted the H5N1 ‘bird flu’ virus. The boy was the first and only human case reported in Bangladesh. He survived.
Person to person transmission of avian influenza is not yet possible. Should this change, a human flu pandemic would be inevitable. The pandemic would threaten every aspect of children’s lives.
Spread of the virus has already compromised household economies and the nutritional status of women and children.
Folk theatre groups tour the country to present music and plays on avian influenza. Folk songs and plays encourage people to wash their hands properly and observe other safe behaviours when handling birds, poultry meat and eggs.
UNICEF trains community hygiene promoters about the virus, so that they can include prevention messages in their hygiene education sessions. Health professionals, local administrators, community volunteers and Scout leaders have also received training.
UNICEF works with the Press Institute of Bangladesh to create awareness among journalists about the dangers of AI and their responsibility to provide accurate and timely information to the public.
UNICEF collaborates with the Government and other international agencies to control the virus and further prepare ministries, hospitals and the general public for a human pandemic.