Celebrating the International Year of Sanitation
UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan mark the International Year of Sanitation through summer-long campaign
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, 26 June 2008 – UNICEF, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and partners from the health industry of Turkmenistan have launched a summer-long campaign on sanitation and hygiene, targeting thousands of children, mothers and their families.
Simple messages, including washing hands before eating and after using the toilet, will be used to promote good hygiene practices among schoolchildren. More importantly, the campaign encourages children to take active participation to improve the hygiene and sanitation conditions in their schools, homes and communities.
The campaign also reaches out to mothers, lactating mothers, in particular, on exclusive breastfeeding and its positive impact on preventing diarrhoea among children. Mass media materials will help the mothers make a quick diagnosis of diarrhoea, and teach them how to avoid dehydration using Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS). The campaign activities will be carried out in six newly-built Children’s Health Centres in Geokdere resort area and among school summer camps throughout the country.
One of the most popular celebrities in Turkmenistan, singer Gulshat Gurdova, lends her support to the campaign. As a mother of three young children, Ms. Gurdova will spread the messages on exclusive breastfeeding through appearing on advertising posters. The campaign also features a TV spot, which will soon be aired on the national television, showing young women the correct way of exclusive breastfeeding without complementing it with water and other fluids.
The International Year of Sanitation 2008, declared by the United Nations General Assembly, aims to focus the world’s attention on meeting Millennium Development Goal 7: to cut in half the proportion of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation by 2015. Almost 2.6 billion people worldwide, 980 million of them children, lack access to even the most basic water and sanitation facilities. With more than 80% of its land being desert, Turkmenistan faces great challenge in providing safe water and adequate sanitation to its children and their families.
For more information please contact: