Phase II of Hygiene and Deworming Week launched in Ferghana Valley
OLTIARIQ, Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan, 30 April 2012 – Phase II of “Hygiene Promotion and Deworming Week” was launched in Andijan, Ferghana and Namangan provinces of Uzbekistan today at an official ceremony at Secondary School #2 of Oltiariq District, Ferghana province.
A hygiene promotion hero – Masqaraboz Tozavoy (Mr Clean, the Clown) demonstrated proper handwashing technique to a gathering of school children, teachers and parents, highlighting the importance of preventing worms and infectious diseases through good hygiene practices in school and at home. The hero was created to attract children’s attention through the education-entertainment approach.
The joint initiative of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Education, World Health Organization and UNICEF will ensure that around 900,000 children aged 6-11 years old in the Ferghana Valley receive the second dose of deworming medicine (Mebendazole). All these children received the first dose of the medicine during Phase I of the Hygiene Promotion and Deworming week held in November 2011.
The campaign aims to ensure that children practice better hygiene for better health and for better learning. Parasitic infections, or intestinal worms, can lead to malnutrition, anaemia and slow cognitive development – all of which have a negative impact on child health and well-being, as well as negative implications for a child’s ability to concentrate and learn.
While ensuring that children are dewormed, the emphasis during the campaign is also made on hygiene promotion. School children and their families will learn how to prevent worms through proper hand washing with soap practiced at critical times such as before handling food and after using the bathroom.
UNICEF helped the Ministry of Health to design and produce posters and TV and radio public service announcements with Campaign mascot ‘Masqaraboz Tozavoy’ who strengthened the hygiene messages with an attractive mix of entertainment and education.
“Deworming and improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities leads to healthier families and communities. However, prevention is the best cure. When people are motivated to practice good hygiene – especially hand-washing with soap – health benefits are significantly increased,” – commented Mrs. Savita Varde-Naqvi, UNICEF Chief of Communication. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of our partners at the Central level and in the Provincial khokimiyats of the Ferghana Valley for encouraging children and their families to recognize the importance of hygiene for keeping themselves healthy.” – Mrs. Varde-Naqvi concluded.