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UNICEF allies with Union of Journalists in fighting anemia among women and children

Uzbek journalists at a private mill which fortifies flour.

Tashkent/Uzbekistan, 8 September 2006 – In a first joint collaboration between the Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, 50 editors-in-chief of national and local newspapers and magazines attended two days workshop on promotion fortified flour, which took place in Tashkent.

The main objectives of the workshop were to familiarize the journalists on iron deficiency and its negative impact on wellbeing of communities as well as country’s development. There is a high anemia rates among women, with 64.8% of pregnant women and 60% of women aged 15-49 being anaemic. Children are also affected: 36.1% suffer from iron deficiency and anemia. (Uzbekistan MDG Report 2005).

“The role of the journalists, particular those in the field, is not only to educate families and communities of the dangers of anemia and promote utilization of fortified flour but also report on areas where millers do not fortify flour or communities do not have access to fortified flour. It is by combination of these two way reporting the journalists can create both demand and supply ,” said Reza Hossaini, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan, at the opening ceremony.

Journalists talking with the mill's staff about benefits of fortified flour.

During two days of the workshop journalists have had opportunity not just to learn theory, but to visit institutions like the National Institute Hematology and blood transfusion, where they had a chance to test their blood to check own anemia status. They also visited private mills which had been the first starting fortification of flour in Uzbekistan.

The outcomes of the workshop were series of action plans both at national at regional level journalist developed. They were also given prepared videos and CDs with background materials on iron deficiency and anemia that can be used in further works.

“Our newspaper reaches almost 600,000 children thought the country and going back to my place I am planning to start a new column in our paper, which would target women and children. I plan to have a series of articles about causes of anemia, how to fight it and how protect children and women” – says Editor-in Chief of the Republican newspaper for children and adolescents Umida Abduazimova.

For additional information, please contact:

Rustam Khaidarov, Public Communications and Marketing Officer, National Flour Fortification Program

You can also find additional information on the National Flour Fortification Program at



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