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Fast facts

Less than 10% of children

Could access early childhood care and education in one-third of countries in 2011.

International Day of Families 2016 emphasises on promoting healthy lives for sustainable future

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15 May 2016
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15 May is commemorated as the International Day of Families. This year it focuses on accelerating action for achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 3, which calls toensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

UNICEF is pleased that the Government of Uzbekistan has declared 2016 as the ‘Year of Healthy Mother and Child’. It confirms the Government’s commitment to advance the child rights agenda, in particular the child’s right to survival and health care services.

UNICEF works with the Ministry of Health in improving access to quality health services for mothers and children. UNICEF also believes that families play an important role in ensuring health and well-being of children. Parents and other care givers can improve children’s health and development by supporting them emotionally, ensuring proper nutrition, prevention of illnesses, including timely immunization and proper care. Therefore UNICEF also works with communities and families to empower them to apply positive child care practices in the area of health, nutrition, hygiene, care and development.

Parents and caregivers should have the critical knowledge that exclusive breastfeeding is the most recommended and proper nutrition for babies during first six months, complementary feeding should be appropriate for the child. Parents should recognize the danger signs for child health and go immediately to the doctor if such signs are present. The first 3 years are critical for child development. That is when the brain grows most rapidly — 1,000 brain cells have the potential to connect every second. These connections determine a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development. To fuel these connections and to strengthen these building blocks, every child needs stimulation. Each child can benefit from simple actions like being read to, and being talked to.

Families can learn more about what they can do to positively shape the young minds in their care. If parents play with their children, give them the active, nurturing care that every child needs, it can build a strong foundation for holistic development of the child.

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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