UNICEF raises € 250,000 for baby-friendly hospitals in Romania
Funds will help hospitals to provide children with the best start in life
For immediate release Bucharest, May 13, 2008 -A UNICEF fund-raising evening on Romanian National Television has raised 250,000 euros for the development of ‘baby-friendly’ hospitals in the country.
“This is a joint project of the Ministry of Health and UNICEF” said Romanian Health Minister, Eugen Nicolaescu. “We would like all maternities to become baby friendly hospitals and ensure the best conditions for all the babies delivered in Romania”.
UNICEF Representative, Edmond McLoughney, thanked the Romanian public for their generosity and went on to say that the money “will go a long way towards realising the certification of close to 20 baby-friendly hospitals in Romania by the end of next year. This means that babies will be born in hospitals which promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, leading to a new generation of healthier, happier and smarter children”. McLoughney called on the public and corporations to share in this exciting initiative by continuing to invest in “the country’s most important resource – its children”.
The Head of State, President Traian Băsescu, Prime Minister Călin Popescu Tăriceanu and his wife Ioana Popescu Tăriceanu, and Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu showed the strong support of the Romanian leadership for the baby-friendly hospital initiative by answering telephones at the television studio to accept donations from the public.
The UNICEF and national broadcaster(TVR1) organised event was hosted by Andreea Marin Bănică, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Romania, and the well-known Romanian broadcaster Cristian Ţopescu.
A highlight of Saturday’s event was the appearance of Nana Mouskouri, a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, who talked about her 15 years of experience with UNICEF including her belief in the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for all infants.
Many prominent Romanian personalities joined the President and Prime Minister in the studio to answer calls and announce viewers’ donations. They included the famous soprano Angela Gheorghiu, Palme d’Or winning film director Cristian Mungiu, Golden Stag Festival winner Luminita Dobrescu and many other famous performers and journalists. Senior Government officials and other partners who helped to accept donations by phone included Gabriella Tonk, Acting Secretary of State in the National Authority for the Protection of Child Rights and Simona Miculescu, Romanian Ambassador to the United Nations.
Corporate donors also showed their commitment to the cause of exclusive breastfeeding, taking donations by phone and announcing their own contributions. Among them were Carrefour, Amway, Pampers, Valvis Foundation, and “The Group” Foundation.
The fundraising campaign launched at the May 10th telethon will end on June 10, 2008. During this period, donations can be made by sending text messages to a single number 848 (2 EUR for Orange and Vodafone networks and 2 EUR + VAT for Cosmote network) or by phone to Romtelecom numbers 0900900162 (2 EUR) and 0900900160 (10 EUR). The public can also donate by making a bank transfer to the UNICEF account opened at BRD – Société Générale. The account number is: RO10 BRDE 450S V434 6556 4500.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in 1991 by UNICEF as an effort to turn all maternities into centres that support and promote breastfeeding. Breastfeeding brings unique benefits to children that cannot be replicated by any other nutrition. The benefits of mother’s milk are noticeable immediately after birth and they last a lifetime. A breastfed child is healthier and has a better physical, psychological and intellectual development. The mother and baby bonding created by breastfeeding is extremely strong. Moreover, one of the best results achieved by breastfeeding promotion is the decrease of the number of children abandoned in maternities.
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