On the Occasion of World Immunization Week, 24 to 30 April, the advocacy workshop will put special emphasis on vaccination
Savannakhet, 26 April 2019 – H.E. Dr. Saysomphone Phomvihane, President of the Lao Front for National Development (LFND) and Dr. Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative have participated this week in a 2-day workshop in Savannakhet Province for more than 70 LFND officials on children-related issues, with a focus on immunization. They took this opportunity to highlight the importance of increasing efforts to address the challenges that children in remote areas face, particularly those who belong to ethnic groups.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Saysomphone Phomvihane said that despite the progress in the area of child wellbeing over the last years, there are still challenges that need our attention. There is still room for improvement in the area of health promotion including immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation. The other areas that still need improvement are education, child protection and child trafficking. “The LFND can help to ensure that no child is left behind by working at community level and promoting child rights while changing traditional practices that affect the health and wellbeing of mothers and children. This is why this workshop is so important as it will allow the LFND staff in Savannakhet to understand key issues affecting children’s lives to then carry out communication activities at village level.”
Representatives from key line ministries and other mass organizations, like the National Commission for Advancement of Mothers and Children and the Lao Women’s Union attended this workshop and briefed LFND officials on issues such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the challenges and opportunities that children face during the first and second decade of their lives, paying special attention to child trafficking and immunization.
“To address the bottlenecks that prevent children from surviving and thriving we have to ensure the supply of services, but we also have to work simultaneously on the demand side, promoting positive behaviours among parents, caregivers, community members, and children themselves. One of the key messages that the LFND can help spread is about the importance of immunization. Vaccines work and can prevent diseases like measles. We need to take this message to every corner of the country, especially now during the World Immunization Week,” stated Dr. Bivol, UNICEF Representative to the Lao PDR.
Mr Khamphone Phouthavong, Deputy Minister of Health, who also attended the workshop also stressed the importance of ensuring full immunization of children to protect them from preventable diseases.
Mr Santiphap Phomvihan, Governor of Savannakhet province urged participants of all related provincial departments and mass organizations to work closely together to improve the wellbeing of mothers and children in Savannakhet province.
Coinciding with the World Immunization Week from 24 to 30 April, the importance of vaccination has been highlighted throughout the workshop with in-depth presentations, discussions on the role of the LFND to promote immunization, particularly among ethnic groups, and one field visit to Kaysone Phomvihane City. Here, the President of the LFND, H.E. Dr. Saysomphone Phomvihane and Dr. Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative participated in an integrated outreach session which includes routine immunization and other services such as hygiene promotion, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition interventions – Vitamin A supplementation, deworming for children between 6 and 59 months of age, screening children under 5 years of age for acute malnutrition, and health and nutrition education.
Following this workshop on child rights related issues another one has been organized in Sepon district, Savannakhet province, for district officials on 26 April 2019. After the briefing participants have participated in integrated outreach services, including immunization.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Lao PDR, visit http://www.unicef.org/laos
For more information, please contact:
Vandy Chansombath, Lao Front For National Construction +856 20 5868 4748
Tabongphet Phouthavong, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Lao PDR, +856 20 96888890, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +856 20 5868 4748
Tel: +856 21 315200 Ext. 123
Tel: +856 20 96888890
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.