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European Immunization Week in Turkmenistan promotes families’ informed responsibility of immunizing children

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, 20 April 2009

Turkmenistan reinforces its commitment to give a healthy start to children and sustaining a high immunization rate by marking the 4th European Immunization Week from 20th to 26th April. As in previous years, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry have joined hands to boost awareness and increase the success of immunization programme in Turkmenistan.

While promoting messages on timely immunization of the population under the general motto of the European Immunization Week “Prevent, Protect, Immunize”, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry use innovative methods to impact the behaviour of caregivers on the benefits of vaccination.

This year, for example, the major focus of the Week is educating young children themselves on why it is important to be immunized. The children’s story book called “Medine’s Birthday” developed specifically for the immunization campaign illustrates a four-year old girl who shares her positive vaccination experience with peers through play. This book not only educates young children about survival messages, but also promotes their early development and encourages caregivers to spend quality time reading to their children and discovering together life saving issues from an early age. Health workers will distribute the illustrated book along with an immunization passport to new mothers and to children at vaccination centres. The book is in Turkmen and available at

“UNICEF welcomes Turkmenistan Government’s sustainable and nearly universal immunization coverage. By marking the European Immunization Week we want to promote the core message that immunization of every child is vital to prevent diseases and protect life”, said Abdul Alim, UNICEF’s representative, a.i. in Turkmenistan.
UNICEF has also partnered with the mobile company MTS that will distribute an SMS message on the benefits of vaccination to over a million of its subscribers as it did last year. MTS’s partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry demonstrates the company’s corporate responsibility towards addressing the social needs of the population through its powerful means of communication.

In addition to routine vaccination of children and adults, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry will distribute information leaflets, organize public outreach events, award the most active family doctors and parents, and establish hotline phone services for the communities. UNICEF believes that regular public health communication campaigns will help to sustain the high immunization coverage in Turkmenistan. 

For more information please contact:

Mr. Ayadil Saparbekov
UNICEF Health and Nutrition Specialist

Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova
UNICEF Communication Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/86/86
Fax: +99312 420830





Russian version

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