Flu Prevention Program

Flu

Considering the potential danger of various types of flues, UNICEF and Masjid Council for Community Advancement (MACCA) developed a partnership agreement to undertake a pilot project on prevention of flu through creating awareness by Muslim religious leaders among the people of the Kurigram district. The project lasted from July to December 2009. The goal of the project is to reduce the risk of Flu Prevention Program all sorts of flues for the people of Kurigram district through awareness campaigning. Specific objectives are:

  1. To disseminate basic knowledge on flues among the target people
  2. To provide them with standard personal hygiene knowledge and skills
  3. To make people confident that flues can be prevented if some primary precautionary measures are taken

The project was implemented in all nine (9) upazillas of the Kurigram district with a view to making the people above 10 years of age aware of all sorts of pandemic flues. The project developed a cadre of 648 trained Imams/khatibs  from all over the district. These trained  Imams/Khatibs  disseminated appropriate messages relating to flu among the mosque-goers, through Friday sermon. Additionally they disseminated the same messages through other socio-religious events  viz,  wedding ceremony, religious events, such as, public meetings ( wazz mahfil ),  milad mahfil, eid sermon, village meeting, tea stall meeting etc. A good number (about 5,000) of flu-awareness posters were put on display in public places and 10,000 leaflets were distributed across the project site.

Seven different monitoring formats have been developed and administered to ensure the best-possible qualitative and quantitative output from the project.

The project results in the following outputs:

  • Six hundred and forty eight (648) Imams/Khatibs trained on basic flu aspects and fluent in delivering flu-related sermon.
  • A sermon guide on ‘Prevention of Pandemic Flu’ developed and printed.
  • Four (4) flu-sermons delivered in 648 mosques, 5,000 posters put on show and 10,000 leaflets distributed.
  • People of whole Kurigram district aware of various types of flu.
  • A bridge between the religious leaders and the development players established and strengthened. The same pool of Imams may help UNICEF and other development actors, in future, in other programs as well.
  • Ready-to-use faith-based resources as complementary focal point of community development.

The program put forward the following recommendations for policy implications:

  • The trained participants may be utilized in other joint programs by UNICEF and Masjid Council
  • Refresher courses may be arranged by MACCA with support from UNICEF
  • Similar partnership may be developed in future in case there is an expansion of the flu prevention program in other parts of the country.

Social mobilization utilizing faith channels is proved to be effective, therefore, UNICEF and Masjid Council may work together in similar other programs.

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