Mongolia has been on high alert to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. No confirmed cases have been registered as of now. The Government has shut down schools, kindergartens and universities and banned all public events including the Lunar New Year celebrations.
UNICEF has been working closely with the Government of Mongolia and the World Health Organization, and other UN agencies to monitor developments and needs as the situation unfolds.
As schools and kindergartens are closed, UNICEF has expressed its concern over the safety and well-being of children left at home. Especially the risk of home injuries such as burns, and falls increases as many children stay at home without parental care. Also, UNICEF is concerned about the nutrition status of children as those from vulnerable families would have a hot meal at kindergarten or school.
UNICEF is working with partners to protect children not only from a potential outbreak but also at home.
UNICEF is supporting home visits for identification and prevention of violence against children. UNICEF is advocating for flexible working arrangements for parents with young children (0-9 years old) whether they work either in the private or public sector.
In health, UNICEF is providing support for the infection prevention and control in Bayankhongor province and Bayanzurkh district. Also, UNICEF assisted in procuring personal protection garments and necessary medical equipment to ensure preparedness and response.
Together with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF has produced posters and leaflets on personal prevention for public transportation, hospitals and travellers. In addition, public service announcements (PSAs) on personal hygiene and preventive measures for children have been produced and broadcasted nationwide.
As the Government is bringing school lessons via television to children, UNICEF is providing support to ensure that children from ethnic minorities including Kazakh and Tuva are not left behind. Also, PSAs on positive parenting have been produced and aired during this period to enhance parent’s engagement with their children.
To address the concern on nutrition and financial burden on families, UNICEF has sent a recommendation to the Government to top up child money to assist families in buying necessary food and medicine for their children.
As schools and kindergartens open on 2nd of March, UNICEF will continue its support to the Government to ensure hygiene and infection control preparedness at education facilities and prevent the spread of flu.
“UNICEF appreciates the prompt action and measures taken by the Government of Mongolia to stop the potential outbreak of novel Coronavirus. The health sector has shown great leadership and coordination to prevent a possible spread. However, we should not forget the closure of schools and kindergartens can put many children’s safety and well-being at risk” said Alex Heikens, UNICEF Mongolia Representative.
“UNICEF will continue its support making sure that children are healthy and protected against possible violence, undernutrition and neglect.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.