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UNICEF Executive Director launches 'Facts for Life' in Lesotho

© UNICEF Lesotho/2010/Barbadoro
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman meets His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho, site of the launch of the updated (fourth edition) 'Facts for Life' handbook on child survival and development.

MASERU, Lesotho, 9 April 2010 – During a visit to Lesotho, a country entirely landlocked by South Africa, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman this week launched ‘Facts for Life’, a publication that delivers life-saving information to families and communities on how to prevent child and maternal deaths, diseases, injuries and violence.

“Education is key,” said Veneman. “Through simple messages, ‘Facts for Life’ aims to bring vital knowledge to parents and caregivers, who are the first line of defense in protecting children from illness and harm.”

Circulated worldwide

Now in its fourth edition, Facts for Life’ has benefitted millions of individuals and communities since its first publication in 1989. Some 15 million copies of previous editions have been circulated worldwide in 215 languages.

© UNICEF Lesotho/2010/Barbadoro
Ann M. Veneman visits clients at a children's clinical centre built by Baylor College of Medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb in Maseru, Lesotho, where paediatric and family HIV care and treatment services are provided to young children and their caregivers.

It is a co-publication by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS and the World Bank, and provides practical advice on pregnancy, childbirth, major childhood illnesses, child development, early learning, parenting, protection, care and support for children. 

New chapter on child protection

“Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and AIDS, together account for half of all deaths of children under age five,” said Veneman. “These diseases are largely preventable, and sometimes it is a simple lack of knowledge that causes these deaths. ‘Facts for Life’ helps bridge that information gap.”

‘Facts for Life’ is available electronically in English, French and Spanish. The updated version contains a new chapter on child protection, which provides information on keeping children safe from violent and harmful behaviours and practices.

“Girls and boys must be protected from violence and abuse,” said Veneman. “Protecting children so that they can grow up in safe environments and reach their full potential can help break the cycle of poverty.”



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