UNICEF kicks off a week-long health campaign covering almost ten thousand schools in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 4 May 2007 – The country office of UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Peoples’ Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan has launched a “Health Week” national information campaign which will take place in all schools in Uzbekistan until 7 May.
The information campaign aims to increase the awareness of more than 5 million school children and their parents on the benefits of fortified flour and iodized salt for healthy growth and cognitive development. A series of interactive training events, open classes, contests and quizzes will take place this week in all schools across Uzbekistan. Children and their parents will learn about the causes of diseases related to iodine and iron deficiency, as well as easy ways of avoiding health problems, through consuming fortified food products.
“Health Week” was launched on 1 May at a press conference with participation of officials and representatives of Ministry of Peoples’ Education, Ministry of Health, AK “Uzdonmakhsulot”, UNICEF, World Bank and other state institutions and non-governmental organisations. It is one of several activities in 2007 marking the “Year of Social Protection and implementation of the National Flour Fortification Program” as designated by President Karimov.
“This campaign will provide both children and their parents with the knowledge required to reduce health risks for future generations” - UNICEF representative in Uzbekistan, Reza Hossaini
Underscoring the importance of this campaign, the UNICEF representative in Uzbekistan Reza Hossaini stated: “This campaign will provide both children and their parents with the knowledge required to reduce health risks for future generations”.
“Children are the group most at risk from the effects of nutrient deficiency so by appealing to their parents to use iodized salt and fortified flour in products such as bread; they can significantly reduce this risk.”
In preparation for the campaign, a series of workshops for education officials were held across all regions since the beginning of the year. In the course of these events, almost 1500 experts and school principals received information on the optimal learning environment for children and how to develop the conditions for quality education.
More than 4 million brochures on the benefits of fortified flour and iodized salt for schoolchildren's health and successful school studies have been published and distributed to schools throughout the republic.
Note for editors:
Rustam Khaidarov, Public Relations Officer, UNICEF Representative Office to Uzbekistan