UNICEF in action
UNICEF is working closely with governments, UN organizations and other partners through the UN Country Teams and other partners to arm families with the knowledge and practices they need to protect themselves and their birds from avian influenza and to be ready to respond to the emergence of a pandemic.
UNICEF is harnessing its extensive on-the-ground networks to deliver critical life-saving messages.
In Azerbaijan, UNICEF is working closely with the government, WHO, WFP and other partners to ensure that families have the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their birds and to be ready to respond to the emergence of a pandemic. UNICEF has developed information materials with the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture and is supporting NGO networks to deliver critical life-saving messages.
In Georgia, UNICEF is supporting the Government in building awareness about avian and pandemic influenza by developing posters, leaflets, and videos for children and families as well as through formal and non-formal education. A study undertaken to identify cultural, economic and behavioral barriers and enablers to adoption of healthy behaviors and safe practices related to poultry keeping, raising, handling and consumption. In March 2007, UNICEF supported the Ministry of Education and Science in conducting a two-day school event for children on protecting themselves and others.
In Indonesia, the Take Action Against Bird Flu campaign, which has received funding from the Government and people of Japan, was launched on 1 September 2006 in Jakarta. It includes a nationwide advertising strategy with public service announcements and community events. More than 30 million households in Indonesia own chickens, posing a big challenge in the battle against bird flu. UNICEF is working closely with Indonesia¡¯s National Commission on Avian Influenza, as well as local governments, to raise public awareness and give communities the tools they need to protect themselves.
In Lao PDR, the government has developed a National Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Preparedness Plan. The joint programme launched by the Lao PDR Governemnt and UNICEF, with a grant from the Government of Japan, includes increased surveillance of poultry, health education, training and activities to raise community awareness to prevent the spread of avian and human influenza.
In Moldova, 500,000 school-age children participated in an interactive Special Hour on Avian Influenza carried out by the Ministry of Education with UNICEF support. The children learnt about "the six basic rules on prevention of Avian Influenza," and brought back home prevention messages back to their families. The special event was only one of an array of activities set out in the National Communication Strategy on Prevention of Avian Influenza in Moldova. The strategy, adopted by the Government, was developed with UNICEF support.
In Myanmar, UNICEF is the UN focal agency for the coordination of avian influenza communication efforts. UNICEF is working to coordinate rapid Knowledge-Attitude-Practices surveys among key target audiences, such as commercial poultry farm workers, backyard poultry farmers, market vendors, poultry transporters, food handlers, and children. Using the findings from the surveys and with funding from the Government of Japan, UNICEF is working with a range of partners to develop effective communication activities and materials to use in preventing avian and human influenza.
In Nigeria, UNICEF is working with an existing network of traditional and religious leaders to reach the most remote communities with preventive messages. UNICEF has developed information materials with the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture and is supporting NGO networks to deliver critical life-saving messages.
In Thailand, a nationwide school-based campaign aimed at helping Thai children and their families protect themselves from the threat of Avian Influenza was launched on 10 October 2006 by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE campaign supported by UNICEF and funded by the Government of Japan will cover all 40,000 elementary and secondary schools in the country and will focus on promoting frequent hand washing, rapid reporting of sick and dead poultry and other key behaviours needed to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus that causes Avian Influenza.
In Turkey, where the four resulting deaths from avian influenza were children, UNICEF has activated a 150,000-strong team of volunteers for girls¡¯ education to help spread prevention messages on avian influenza. Four-year-old Selami Bas, has been the only person in Sanliurafa Province to have contracted the avian flu virus which swept the country and survived.
In Viet Nam and Cambodia, an intensive mass media campaign is underway to provide the public with key facts on avian influenza prevention. In Cambodia UNICEF has developed the CREATE! framework for behavior change.
UNICEF¡¯s strengths in communication and social mobilization, and its capacity for action at community level are the assets we bring to this concerted UN operation.