The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is working with the Indonesian News Agency, Antara, to explain the nation’s media about the challenges related to dealing with the zoonosis in Indonesia.
FAO ECTAD's Chief Technical Advisor Luuk Schoonman explained that zoonotic diseases, which are diseases transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa, can affect food security and livelihoods of the people.
"In fact, half of the 900 million people who are below the poverty line depend on livestock," Luuk said at the opening of the 2019 Media Fellowship Program in Lampung on Wednesday.
Luuk explained that one of the zoonotic diseases, bird flu, was diagnosed in 32 of 34 provinces in Indonesia from 2003 to 2004. This outbreak caused 16.2 million birds to die, and 168 people die with 200 cases of infection on human (the largest in the world).
As a result of efforts by FAO and other agencies, there has been a decline in the number of bird flu cases from 2,751 cases in 2007 to 476 in 2018. Also, FAO has hired more than 3,000 animal health workers in 32 provinces.
Additionally, FAO collaborates with 11 Faculties of Veterinary Medicine in Indonesia to educate the public about zoonosis.
On the same occasion, the Senior Journalist from Antara, Priyambodo, as the speaker for popular science coverage and reporting, noted that there are often foreign terms that are difficult to match in journalism.
"As the media, we must be able to negotiate with speakers for the use of terms that are easier for readers to understand," said Priyambodo.
There was also a briefing on the material for the Scholarship Program for the Media Fellowship Program 2019, which is to be held on 19-21 June 2019.
The media will present proposals for coverage in the areas of food security, environmental health, public health, animal health and issues around zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and new infectious diseases.