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Public Buses, taxicabs and trishaws highlight child survival and development in Myanmar

YANGON - 22 November 2013 – Today UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNFPA and UNAIDS launched a life-saving campaign for children using the system in Yangon for the first time ever. Public buses, private taxicabs and trishaws will carry messages on key family and community practices through colourful, attractive printed panels on the vehicles.

“Use of Outdoor media such as billboard and signage is not new but it is first time the transit media is being engaged to carry developmental messages. There are three buses, ten taxi, 280 trishaws and 44 billboards to disseminate public health messages in 22 townships including Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Sittwe, Mrauk U. The initial project timeline is one year and based on the assessment we need to scale it up,” said Mr Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative at the launching ceremony held in Yangon.

The messages displayed on buses and taxicabs are 1) “Breast milk is best”: feed your baby only breast milk and no water until six months of age; 2) “Provide nutritious food for babies” after the age of six month as breastfeeding alone will not provide enough calories and all the nutrients a child needs. Balanced, nutritious food should be given in order to help a child develop and grow in a healthy manner; 3) “Show your love, bring your child for immunization”. Vaccination gives a child a healthy childhood. It is critical for every child to complete a full immunization course at the designated time; and 4) “Know it. Get Tested.” Getting tested for HIV during pregnancy is the first step to have an HIV free newborn. These messages were developed by UNICEF with technical support from the Central Health Education Bureau (CHEB), WHO and UNFPA.

Billboards with these key messages are installed and displayed at strategic locations in Mandalay, Yangon, Mon, Kayin, Tanintharyi, Rakhine and Nay Pyi Taw. It is hoped that transit media will reinforce these child survival and development messages. Such consistent and regular reminders are pertinent in helping individuals to continue the desired practice.

No single channel of communication is sufficient when ensuring information related to child survival and development is disseminated widely. A balance must be struck among print, mass media, transit media and community dialogue as they complement and mutually reinforce messages. Use of transit media especially buses, taxis and trishaws will help to influence and reinforce positive social norms and cultural practices for exclusive breastfeeding, balanced nutritious food, improved immunization, and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. This outdoor advertisement approach is planned initially for one year.

This transit media campaign is part of the “Overarching Communication Strategy and Plan of Action on Child Survival and Development (2013-2015)” developed in 2012, by MOH as the lead with support from the UN, INGO and NGOs. It is a milestone in the Ministry of Health’s efforts to promote healthy family and community practices and in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals on child health and nutrition.

About UNICEF
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information please contact:

Sandar Linn, Communication Officer, Communication Section, UNICEF Myanmar, slinn@unicef.org.

 

 
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