UNICEF and Ministry of Health launch campaign to protect women and children from influenza in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 1 September 2010 – A nationwide communication campaign launched by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF in Dushanbe today aims to protect children and women in Tajikistan by building their awareness about simple preventive practices against influenza and changing their behaviours related to personal hygiene.
“Each year tens of thousands of people in the country contract influenza,” said Dr. Azam Mirzoev, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan. “Very often it happens because people are simply unaware of what they can do to prevent the infection. This campaign is designed to inform communities across the country of what they can do to prevent flu and thus help stem the annual tide of influenza and other related diseases.”
"Although the global influenza pandemic is over, it is critical that children and women learn about basic flu prevention practices including personal hygiene rules,” said Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan.
The three-month campaign will focus on mobilizing communities to provide critical preventive messages such as frequent handwashing with soap through community-based events. A network of NGOs, traditional and religious leaders will be involved in community mobilization events, equipping children and families with knowledge and skills that can help them prevent influenza infection.
In addition, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health in raising public awareness about influenza by developing posters and leaflets and broadcasting public service announcements and health programmes containing key influenza prevention messages through national and local television and radio outlets.
The campaign builds on best practices and lessons learnt during the implementation of the Avian Influenza and A (H1N1) pandemic communication campaigns.
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