The Government launches national campaign on early childhood development
Today on the International Children’s Day, the Government of Turkmenistan under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry together with UNICEF launched the national public communication campaign on early childhood development (ECD) “First 1000 days of child’s life – the foundation for a happy future”.
Key sectoral partners from the Ministries of Health, Education, Social Protection, the Parliament, National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, State Statistics Committee, non-government organizations, media representatives, academia, international development organizations and UN partners participated in the launch ceremony to demonstrate the collective solidarity to advance ECD from science to scale so that all young children in the country have nurturing care.
The concept of the national public communication campaign largely derived from the wealth of global campaign resources as well as national experience in the area of ECD with the aim to further increase understanding, engagement, commitment and investment nationally about the importance of nutrition, stimulation, protection and love in the first 1000 days of child’s life.
As the Government of Turkmenistan joined the global initiative, it also reinforced the global campaign objectives for the next four years, committing to achieve better outcomes for ALL young children and their families at all levels in the country. It is expected that joint efforts will generate greater public engagement and enlarge the partnership towards the development of young children so that Turkmenistan’s children enjoy being healthy, well-nourished, well-developed and protected, and are capable of achieving well in school and in life.
“It’s encouraging to witness that Turkmenistan has excellent potential to build on existing progress in the area of ECD and mobilize further actions in the best interest of the child across the entire country. I commend the fact that issues of children, including their education, care, health and overall wellbeing are taken up at the highest level by the State Leadership, penetrating all public sectors and holding them accountable for implementation, as was reported during the recent Cabinet of Ministers’ session dedicated to International Children’s Day”, emphasized, Ms. Shaheen Nilofer, UNICEF Representative at the launch.
The speakers of the launch acknowledged that the country offers many enabling conditions with regard to advancement of the Early Childhood Development Agenda. Turkmenistan is formulating a comprehensive system for the early years across all the sectors, including health, education, and social protection. The Government implemented a National Programme on ECD and School Readiness for 2011-2015. The succeeding National Early Childhood Development Strategy for 2017-2021 (currently pending endorsement), will further enable the country to transform the effectiveness of existing early childhood development policies, services and resources to achieve better outcomes for young children.
“Turkmenistan is one of the countries, which puts a strong focus on early childhood development by applying a systemic and multi-sectoral approach in developing conducive conditions for nurture and care, quality health services and nutrition to boost development and health of young children. The National ECD launch in Turkmenistan will further bolster good parenting practices that focuses on nutrition, play, positive and sensitive care and provides support to fathers and mothers while they are taking care for their children”, highlighted Mr. Nurmuhammet Amannepesov, Minister of Health and Medical Industry, Government of Turkmenistan.
During the course of launch ceremony, participants got to know the latest international evidence about the development of the young children such as Lancet ECD series and preview from the global film “The Beginning of Life”, along with the national achievements. The subsequent plan of the public communication campaign for 2017 highlighted key activities, including carrying out the Father’s Day and building the capacity of parents in positive parenting practices through national media and other programme interventions.
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.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.