Migrants and Host Communities on Cambodia–Viet Nam Border Prepare for Avian Flu Pandemic

Posted: 
04/28/08

IOM has launched a pilot project to raise awareness and strengthen
preparedness for an avian influenza pandemic in migrant communities
and communities hosting migrants on the Cambodia – Vietnam
border.

The three-year, USD 100,000 project, which is funded by the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be
based in Cambodia's Svay Rieng province and Vietnam's Tay Ninh
province and is part of a much broader global effort to combat bird
flu.

Working within the framework of existing national and
international structures, including the ministries of health,
border control and communication, national avian influenza and
pandemic preparedness taskforces, and the United Nations (UN), the
project aims to improve community-based surveillance, communicable
disease prevention and home-based disease management.

"It will also build capacity, particularly at district and
commune level, and conduct information and social mobilization
activities for communities, civil society organizations and border
control agencies," says IOM Southeast Asia Regional Health Manager
Dr. Nenette Motus.

"Our aim is to prepare migrant and host communities and local
officials to help them to cope better, in the event of an avian flu
pandemic or similar crisis," she adds. 

IOM is contributing to global preparedness planning for avian
influenza and other pandemic threats through its participation in
the UN System and Partners' Avian and Human Influenza (AHI)
Consolidated Action Plan.

But while many countries have responded to the threat of an
avian influenza pandemic at both national and local levels, until
now very little has been done to address the special needs of
border areas and the people who live, work and move through them,
according to IOM Global AHI Coordinator Anita Alero Davies.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Nenette Motus

Tel. +66.899243009

E-mail: "mailto:nmotus@iom.int">nmotus@iom.int

or

Chris Lom

IOM's Regional Office for Southeast Asia in Bangkok

Tel. +66.819275215

E-mail: "mailto:clom@iom.int">clom@iom.int