Avian Influenza Radio Drama Sweeps the Airwaves in Indonesia

Indonesia avian influenza radio
A facilitator runs a talk show and quizzes listeners about the content of the drama after each episode of Bukan Salah Ayam.

An exciting new radio drama on Avian Influenza, Bukan Salah Ayam (“Don’t Blame the Chicken”), is captivating Indonesian audiences. Created in September 2012 by Strategies Against Flu Emergence (SAFE) in collaboration with Matari Advertising, a local vendor, Bukan Salah Ayam has quickly become a very popular radio show, with many listeners tuning in every week for messages about Avian Influenza prevention and treatment, mixed with humor, romance and mystery.

The story is about a curious couple, Cecep and Ratmi, who set off to investigate how a poultry market colleague contracted Avian Influenza. Over the course of their journey, Cecep and Ratmi visit a farm, a slaughterhouse and a poultry collector, and learn about poultry-raising practices and the many ways that improper handling of poultry can lead to Avian Influenza. Along the way, they fall in love. Meanwhile their colleague, Mr. Ajat, visits a community health center where he is referred to a public hospital for treatment and fortunately recovers from his illness.

“I laughed when listening to it,”says Nia Nurniati, a fan of Bukan Salah Ayam. “The show had funny moments. At the same time, I wondered what disease Mr Ajat had. I think the drama has given me a lot of useful information about how poultry products are being processed and sold in the market. One must be very selective with what products to buy these days.”

Listeners learn that every step along the Indonesian poultry supply chain impacts the quality of the poultry that is ultimately sold to consumers. Mistakes in any of the steps can lead to the transmission of Avian Influenza which is deadly in 80 percent of cases in Indonesia. Listeners also learn about actions they can take to minimize their risk of contracting Avian Influenza and the importance of visiting their local community health center immediately if they are ill.

Bukan Salah Ayam is broadcast on ten radio stations across the ten districts of the SAFE project in West Java and Banten. A talk show follows each episode, and listeners are encouraged to raise questions and continue the conversation started in the radio serial drama.

SAFE is a program created to support USAID/Indonesia’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza (API) Program and the Government of Indonesia’s National Strategy for Avian Influenza Control and Preparedness for Human Pandemic Influenza. The program is implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP).

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