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Media participation in promoting community engagement on COVID-19 control and prevention enhanced

National Media Meeting to Review Children Rights Promotion, Community engagement on COVID-19 control and prevention and vaccination rollout was organized from 22-25 August 2022, Luang Prabang Province. More than 50 media officials from 18 provinces of the Lao PDR and from keys media outlets from Vientiane.

The objectives of the media meeting are to promote community engagement on COVID-19, to disseminate the results of the survey on vaccination coverage survey in tourism green zones in Luang Prabang as well as in Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, to brief on Social Behavior Change Communication, to review challenges and SBC barrier to COVID19 information, to discuss vaccination rollout, identify what is the barrier and to promote RCCE at the district level, to review media participation on the promotion of children rights, including the Media Ethic and Children Guidelines, and help children in the media and to build a capacity and improve Media Lao page as well as to brief about Technology for Development (T4D)

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Somsavanth Phongsa, Director General of Mass Media Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Ketkasone Phasisombath, Deputy Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Ministry of Health, Mr Chansamone Thipphavanh, Deputy Director of Luangprabang Information Culture and Tourism and Mr Tabongphet Phouthavong, Communication Specialist of UNICEF Lao PDR.

In his opening remarks the workshop, Mr Somsavath Phongsa, Director General of Mass Media Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism highlighted the important of media participation in the promotion of child rights and emergency especially the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed on the media role in promotion of vaccination rollout to control and prevent COVID-19:

“To protect children during the COVID-19, with the support from UNICEF, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism produced TV and Radio spots and audio record and distribute to media in all provinces and broadcast through the public loudspeaker at the village level, in Lao and other local languages such as Hmong and Khmu. All provincial and provincial media have actively promoted vaccination rollout the all the traditional and digital media and social media.”

During the meeting, participants were briefed on information and lesson learned on the COVID-19 vaccination coverage survey in tourism green zones in Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, and Luang Prabang province by Dr Ketkasone Phasisombath, Deputy Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Ministry of Health. Dr Ketkasone urges media to continue to support with dissemination of the results of this survey and to contribute to the promotion of vaccination rollout.

Mr Visith Khamleusa, the Director of Centre for Communication and Education on Health (CCEH), presented on Community Engagement and Risk Communication in the time of Covid19 and beyond focusing on materials being used and key lesson learned through materials development phases.

Mr Khavi Homsombath, UNICEF C4D Specialist also shared experiences on Integrated Social Behavior Change Communication (SBC) strategies to community engagement and information dissemination, challenges, and SBC barrier to COVID19 information.

After the workshop, participants were also divided into 4 groups and travelled to villages and tourist sites to interview in on Vaccination Roll Out, Community Engagement, COVID-19 vaccination coverage survey in tourism green zones and produce news for TV, radios, newspapers and social media.

Participants were also briefed on Media and children: Six principals in the report on children’s issues based on the Media and Ethic Guidelines on reporting on children’s issues and review media participation in the implementation of children rights in all the provinces of the Lao PDR.

In the last day of the workshop, to improve the capacity of media in the current global situation, participants were briefed about Technology for Development (T4D) by UNICEF IT Specialist, Mr Boualiane Obmalay.

To improve the Media Lao Page which is a very important tools of media in the Lao PDR, participants reviewed the activities and provide feedback and suggested how to improve.

Mr Saykoson Sanoubane, UNICEF Communication Officer lead the session on content management for the Media Lao Page, Event and Live steam the Media Lao Page and Insight and report for Media Lao page.

Taking this opportunity, Mr Tabongphet Phouthavong, Communication Specialist of UNICEF Lao PDR express sincere thanks to the Mass Media Department of the Ministry of information, Culture and Tourism, key media outlets in Vientiane Capital and all provincial Information Culture and Tourism Departments for strong support and cooperation in promoting women and children well being in the Lao PDR:

“On behalf of UNICEF, I express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, central and provincial media for strong cooperation. UNICEF is very excited to continue our partnership with the Government of Lao PDR and all partners to enhance further the wellbeing of children and a brighter future for children,” stated Mr Tabongphet.

Source: Lao News Agency

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