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UNICEF launches malgache translation of child survival manual

Madagascar, June 16, 2005: On the occasion of the Day of the African Child, UNICEF, in collaboration with its sister UN agencies, launched the first-ever malagasy translation of the famous Facts for Life child survival guide. This guide aims at providing parents, care givers, young people, health workers, teachers and communicators with information on how to save and improve children’s lives.

“Some sixty thousand children die each year in this country before their fifth birthday from preventable causes,” said UNICEF’s Representative Barbara Bentein during the launching ceremony. “Information contained in Facts for Life can help prevent those deaths. There is simply no reason why everyone should not have access to this information -- It is vital that every parent and everyone who works with parents around the country communicate these simple, easy to understand facts about child survival,” she added.

Facts for Life is a joint publication of UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS, WFP and the World Bank. Over 15 million copies of the publication have been distributed around the world, in more than 219 different languages.

Some of the key messages included in the publication – all of which are based on the latest scientific research -- and particularly relevant to Madagascar, where the majority of children fall ill and die from diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, are as follows:

  • Wherever malaria is common, mosquito nets treated with insecticide should be used and a child with a fever should be examined by a trained health worker
  • A child with diarrhea needs to drink plenty of the right liquids – breast milk, fruit juice or oral rehydration salts. If diarrhea is bloody, watery and frequent, the child is in danger and should be taken to a health facility
  • If a child with a cough is breathing rapidly, or with difficulty, the child is in danger and should be taken to a health center immediately

“I envision a future where every malagasy parent has access to this guide,” said the UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar Bouri Sanhouidi. “But until we have the funds to make this possible, we count on all parents, care givers, teachers, media professionals, students, health care workers and anyone else who can read and has  access to this guide to pass on the information to help save a child’s life,” he emphasized.

For more information, please contact:
Misbah M. Sheikh
Chief, Media and External Relations

UNICEF Madagascar
5 Rue Robert Ducroq, BP732 Antananarivo 101

Off :         261-20 22 626 45/46
Fax :        261-20 22 628 45
Mobile :    261-33 11 892 83
Email :      msheikh@unicef.org




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