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Australia gives US$1.2 million for bird flu education in Cambodia

Australia gives US$1.2 million for bird flu education in Cambodia

The Australian government gave Cambodia US$1.2 million (euro880,000) on Wednesday to help raise awareness about the risks of bird flu.
Knowledge about the deadly H5N1 virus has increased rapidly in Cambodia, but backyard poultry farming _ a way of life for most rural families _ still poses an enormous challenge for the country, Australian Ambassador Margaret Adamson said at a signing ceremony Wednesday.
The money will be used by the United Nations Children's Fund for its ongoing project producing bird flu awareness posters, billboards, and radio and television spots.
Last year, the Australian government also gave UNICEF US$765,000 (euro562,290) for the same purpose.
Suomi Sakai, UNICEF's country representative, said the existence of backyard poultry farms near living quarters increases the potential for transmission of the H5N1 virus.
"We know that bio-security remains poor in Cambodia," Sakai said.
Even though awareness about the virus is now higher than before, "we need to remain extremely vigilant all year-round," she added.
Bird flu has killed at least 172 people worldwide since it began its spread through Asian poultry in 2003, according to WHO.
Seven people have died from the virus in Cambodia. The latest was the death of a 13-year-old girl last month.


Updated : 2021-05-13 15:14 GMT+08:00