Prevent. Protect. Immunize. - European Immunization Week in Georgia
24 countries in Europe unite efforts to combat infectious deceases throughout the week
16-22 April, 2007. Tbilisi, Georgia. The Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control, WHO and UNICEF is leading the communication efforts related to the European Immunization Week. The main goal of this one week campaign is to raise awareness of the population about the benefits of immunization. The Week's core message is: prevent, protect, immunize.
A press-conference dedicated to the Immunization week will be held at the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs on 18 April; special talk shows and programmes on immunization will be organized on leading TV channels; newspaper articles and TV spots will continue to air within the framework of the UNICEF supported Communication for behaviour change (COMBI) campaign; round-tables on immunization will be held in two regions of Georgia and special school lessons on immunization will be organized on 18 April in different schools throughout the country. The school lessons will be held within the ongoing UNICEF supported Communication for behaviour change (COMBI) campaign to educate children about the importance of timely vaccination and to have them serve as “personal sellers” of the message in their homes. The children will receive school calendars including information on immunization.
According to the information received from the health facilities only 7.9 per cent of children are vaccinated on time-Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia
The UNICEF supported Communication for Behaviour Change (COMBI) campaign launched in February 2007, aims at improving immunization coverage of children below one year of age and at reducing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. The campaign calls mothers and other caregivers to ensure the timely immunization of their children at two, three and four months of age.
The communication campaign includes a mix of interventions, such as administrative mobilization, public relations, interpersonal communication, and advertisement through mass-media, school promotion and business partnership for immunization.
While a dramatic decrease in cases of vaccine-preventable diseases has made many contagious diseases a thing of the past for most people in the Region, these diseases continue to cause illness, disability and even death. More than half a million children in the Region do not receive basic vaccination. All countries have vulnerable or hard-to-reach unimmunized groups, and outbreaks of infectious diseases continue to occur.
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