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VOA Organizes Journalists’ Workshops in Nigeria on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza


Speakers will include Nigerian and U.S. officials and health experts

Washington, D.C., January 18, 2007 -- Journalists in Nigeria are to receive up-to-date information about Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza at three separate workshops that will be held in Kano, Abuja, and Lagos in late January.

The workshops, organized by the Voice of America (VOA) and funded by the U.S. Department of State, will be held in Kano January 22-23; in Abuja January 25-26; and in Lagos January 29-30. VOA's partners in this project include Internews/Nigeria and Development Communications Network in Lagos.

Nigerian and U.S. officials and health experts will speak at the workshops, which are designed to educate and inform reporters, editors, and broadcasters about the health, social, and economic aspects of Avian and Human Influenza, and discuss preparedness for any future pandemics.

Topics include: "Tackling Avian Influenza in Nigeria: Surveillance and National Preparedness," "Economic and Commercial Implications of Avian Influenza," and "Human Pandemic Influenza: Preparing Nigeria and the World."

Speakers will include Dan Rutz, associate director of communication science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., and officials from the Nigerian Veterinary Association; the Poultry Farmers Association; the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and the World Health Organization.

An earlier workshop on the same topic was held in Johannesburg in December 2006, and future sessions are planned for Dakar, Senegal, March 14-15, 2007, and Nairobi, Kenya in April.

For more information, please contact Joan Mower, IBB, at 202-260-0167 or by e-mail at jmower@ibb.gov; Sunday Dare, VOA, in Kano at 234-803-2889030; Josephine Kamara, Internews, in Abuja at 234-9-461-3758 and Akin Jimoh, Development Communications Network, in Lagos at 234-803-3053-713.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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