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Ministry of Health of Ukraine and UNICEF launched an information campaign on protection against infectious diseases

9 June 2010, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ministry of Health together with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched an information campaign to support vaccination in Ukraine. During the year, information activities will be taking place to inform Ukrainian parents and general audience about the danger of infectious diseases, and most importantly – vaccination – the most effective way of protection.

Infectious diseases remain one of the five leading causes of infant mortality under one year in Ukraine. In addition, every ninth child, and in total more than a million children under 14 y.o. suffered from an infectious disease (from 2004 to 2008). There was also death and serious complications reported.

However, only 32% of parents believe that vaccination is necessary and safe. But other parents due to the fear of complications refuse to ivaccinate their children, putting them at risk of such infectious diseases as diphtheria, measles, mumps, tetanus, hepatitis B, etc.

"The level of vaccination coverage against some infections has dropped below 70%", - underlined the Minister of Health of Ukraine Zinoviy Mytnyck. "In the future, it will inevitably lead to epidemic outbreaks of infectious diseases. Raising awareness is essential and important to restore trust in vaccination and return to high levels of vaccination coverage in Ukraine " - said Minister, commenting on the information campaign beginning.

Due to successful vaccination smallpox was eradicated worldwide. In North and South American continents measles and rubella were eliminated. In 2000, in 135 countries neonatal tetanus was eliminated through immunization of women of childbearing age. And the annual death rate from this disease worldwide has decreased by 75%.

"Refusal of vaccination can lead to dangerous consequences for particular child and for the general population. Polio outbreak in Tajikistan - a lesson to be learned by all of us: infections do not recognize borders "- said UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo.”In case of poliomyelitis emerging in Ukraine many children that had not been vaccinated may become disabled or die," - said Yukie Mokuo.

As part of awareness campaign on protection against infectious diseases dissemination of the information about vaccination is planned through radio and television, as well as the distribution of educational materials in health facilities. To create information materials, including posters and outdoor social advertising, a number of advertising agencies, such as Michurin, Tviga, ML Group, Dialla, Kafein supported the campaign. These agencies worked on the campaign pro bono. The Association of Operators of Outdoor Advertising and Social Advertising Market also supported the campaign.

For more information, please contact:
UNICEF, Anna Sukhodolska, Programme Communication Officer 
Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Press Service



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