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First Family Center opens in Ivano-Frankivsk region

© UNICEF/2009/UKR/Mila Teshaeva
Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF’s Representative in Ukraine and Igor Gnatushak, Chief Doctor of Yabluniv Hospital opening the new Family Center

Yabluniv, Ivano-Frankivsk region, 27 April 2009 – Families with young children will benefit from the first Family Center in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, which opened today. The center was developed with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) based on the local hospital in the village of Yabluniv. Each year, this hospital treats approximately 22,000 people attend the hospital and about 200 babies are born there.  

The center will serve a vital need in the region. The earliest years of life are the most important in a person’s development. However, according to a UNICEF survey, about 80 per cent of parents in Ivano-Frankivsk think that stimulating child development under the age of one is too early and a quarter think that the ages of one to three are also too young.

“The role of UNICEF all over the world and in Ukraine in particular is to help doctors and parents receive and benefit from new knowledge on child care and early development. While gaining that knowledge is crucial, it is more important to implement it which is the role of the center,” said Jeremy Hartley, UNICEF’s Representative in Ukraine, who took part in the opening. Also attending were Igor Gnatushak, Chief Doctor of the Yabluniv Rayon hospital, Oksana Manuh, Chief Paediatrician of the Department of Health of the Oblast State Administration, Mykola Ficych, Head of the Village Council, doctors and parents and their children.

Family centers for child development provide parents with information on nutrition, child development and care. In the Yabluniv Family Center in particular, parents can interact, share knowledge and receive support from a paediatrician, gynaecologist, social worker and psychologist. In addition, the center offers consultations on breastfeeding, early child development, as well as school of responsible parenting and preparation courses for partner labour.  

© UNICEF/2009/UKR/Mila Teshaeva
Darynka, aged two, is among the first visitors at the Family Centre in Yabluniv

Mr. Hartley noted that UNICEF supports projects such as family centers because they provide information and opportunities to the parents to help them raise their children better and ensure their well-being.

“I believe that the experience of the Yabluniv Family Centre will be successful and the project could be expanded to other regions of Ukraine,” he said.

The Yabluniv Family Centre was opened in the framework of the UNICEF Child Health and Development Programme in cooperation with the Senior Department of Health of the Oblast State Administration, the Kosiv Center of Public Initiatives, Kosiv Central Hospital and Yabluniv Rayon hospital.

View photo essay “Family Centre Opening in Yabluniv

About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. For more information about UNICEF activities in Ukraine, please visit



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