(KPL) The Lao Front for National Development (LFND) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have organized a workshop on improving situation of vulnerable children.
President of the Lao Front for National Development (LFND) Saysomphone Phomvihane and UNICEF Representative Octavian Bivol have participated a 2-day (April 24-26, 2019) workshop in Savannakhet for more than 70 LFND officials on children-related issues, with a focus on immunization.
They took this opportunity to highlight the importance of increasing efforts to address the challenges that children in remote areas face, particularly those who belong to ethnic minorities.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Saysomphone Phomvihane said that despite the progress in the area of child wellbeing over the past years, there are still challenges that need our attention. There is still room for improvement in the area of health promotion including immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation. The other areas that still need improvement are education, child protection and child trafficking.
The LFND can help to ensure that no child is left behind by working at community level and promoting child rights while changing traditional practices that affect the health and wellbeing of mothers and children. This is why this workshop is so important as it will allow the LFND staff in Savannakhet to understand key issues affecting children’s lives to then carry out communication activities at village level.
Representatives from key line ministries and other mass organizations, like the National Commission for Advancement of Mothers and Children and the Lao Women’s Union attended this workshop and briefed LFND officials on issues such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the challenges and opportunities that children face during the first and second decade of their lives, paying special attention to child trafficking and immunization.
To address the bottlenecks that prevent children from surviving and thriving, we have to ensure the supply of services, but we also have to work simultaneously on the demand side, promoting positive behaviours among parents, caregivers, community members, and children themselves. One of the key messages that the LFND can help spread is about the importance of immunization. Vaccines work can prevent diseases like measles. We need to take this message to every corner of the country, especially now during the World Immunization Week, stated Dr. Bivol, UNICEF Representative to the Lao PDR.
Mr Khamphone Phouthavong, Deputy Minister of Health, who also attended the workshop also stressed the importance of ensuring full immunization of children to protect them from preventable diseases.
Mr Santiphap Phomvihane, Governor of Savannakhet Province urged participants of all related provincial departments and mass organizations to work closely together to improve the wellbeing of mothers and children in Savannakhet Province.
Coinciding with the World Immunization Week from 24 to 30 April, the importance of vaccination has been highlighted throughout the workshop with in-depth presentations, discussions on the role of the LFND to promote immunization, particularly among ethnic groups, and one field visit to Kaysone Phomvihane City.
Source: Lao News Agency