Mekong: Sustainable News launches ''Science Talks'' in Cambodia

June 9, 2020

How are the Covid-19 tests performed? What measures are planned and necessary to enable nationwide testing? What is the status of the spread of the virus since Cambodia's borders began to reopen?

The first session of Science Talks was held on 4 June 2020 at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, during which around twenty journalists working for foreign and local media outlets were able to put their questions to two doctors from the Covid-19 virology unit.

The Science Talks are monthly conferences that are intended to improve the knowledge of journalists on scientific subjects, such as epidemics, to enable educational and understandable media coverage for the population.

"As a result of this session, I have a better understanding of the health situation related to Covid-19 in Cambodia, as well as of the role of the Pasteur Institute in fighting the spread of the pandemic and the strategies they are developing to protect our communities," said journalist Danei Phat from the online news outlet ThmeyThmey.

"These Science Talks are also a great opportunity for us scientists," stated Dr Veasna Dong, Deputy Head of the Virology Unit of the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia. "They allow us to be in contact with journalists, to present them with reliable information and data on Covid-19 and to correct the misunderstandings that arise from the proliferation of fake news online," he said after the two sessions he led with his colleague Dr Viseth Srey Horm.
Their research laboratory is receiving support from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to strengthen its capacity to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging diseases such as dengue fever and leptospirosis.

The next Science Talk will be held in July.