Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Red Cross battles bird flu in China


The US and Chinese Red Cross societies launched a campaign yesterday to teach the Chinese public to avoid bird flu with millions of illustrated, simply written posters and pamphlets.

The materials with cartoons showing people washing their hands and reporting sick birds are to be distributed in 3,000 Chinese counties. The posters warn: "Don't let children play with chickens."

The US$150,000 campaign is financed by the US Red Cross and the US Agency for International Development. The materials are to be distributed by Chinese Red Cross volunteers in markets, bus stations and other public places.

"We have to reach our goal of raising the public's awareness of bird flu and minimizing the threat of bird flu in human homes," Jiang Yiman (江亦曼), executive vice president of the Chinese Red Cross, said at a news conference.

The organizers are looking for donations to expand the campaign to television, radio and the Internet, said Ramsey Rayyis, the US Red Cross representative in Beijing.

The brightly colored posters and pamphlets include a list of four do's and don'ts and also show a boy phoning to report a sick bird and an ill person visiting a doctor.

"Don't take sick chickens to market," says the caption of one cartoon.

Another, showing a woman with a cleaver about to kill a chicken, says: "Don't kill, don't eat sick chickens."

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