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EU-UNICEF project to provide medical equipment for the children of Chernobyl

A joint press-conference to launch the project will be held by UNICEF, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus as follows:

When: December 15, 2009 at 14:00
Where: Republic of Belarus, Minsk, Oktyabrskaya str. 5, National media centre.

The press conference will launch the two-year project “Holistic and Sustainable mother and child survival and development in the Chernobyl affected areas (Belarus)” (the short project title “Children of Chernobyl”).

The project is designed by UNICEF Belarus in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to enhance previous investments by the government, UN, EU and other donors, and the CORE programme “Cooperation for rehabilitation of living conditions in Chernobyl affected areas of the Republic of Belarus” and its aim is that newborns, children, youth, and women in the Chernobyl affected areas are benefiting from quality health care and have equal access to quality health services. The project is financed By the European Union.

Along with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, the main grantees of the project will implement the range of evidence-based public health strategies to support children’s, youth’s and women’s wellness. Participating institutions of Gomel, Mogilev, and Brest oblasts will work to progress the functioning of child-serving and youth-friendly infrastructures, further to develop the capacity of health institutions, and to improve methods for providing services.

The majority of the funds, nearly EUR 650,000, will be allocated for purchase of the modern medical equipment and supply for 15 identified hospitals and maternity houses which overreach the population in the surrounding rural areas of the affected oblasts. For example, Youth Friendly Health Centers (YFHC) will be equipped with modern medical and office equipment. This equipment has already been purchased and will be delivered by the end of the year.

The enhancement efforts of local services will include professional training for childcare and early childhood development workers, medical professionals and parents. Specific groups of medical professionals will benefit from innovative methods of intensive care for newborns and HIV prevention and care through provided educational opportunities and training. For example, in December 2009, a team of national experts will conduct a seminar with special emphasis on the reproductive health of girls and boys, prevention of STI/HIV, addictive behaviour among adolescents, development of appropriate skills for youth friendly counselling and services provision.

One of the objectives of the project is the assistance in formation of positive, responsible and sustainable parenting, including advancement of parenting skills. This will be achieved through the range of advocacy and public awareness activities that will be conducted in 2010; printed sets of educational and promotional materials, which are to be distributed among parents, early childhood specialists and preschool professionals from affected oblasts.

José Manuel Pinto Teixeira – Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine and Belarus
Yuri Oksamitnyi - UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Belarus
MoH representative (tbc by December 10, 2009)
MoE representative (tbc by December 10, 2009)

For more information and to book interviews, please contact:

Julia Novichenok - UNICEF
Tel: +375 17 210 55 89, 210 46 39



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