UNICEF signed Action Plan on "Community on Air" Initiative with MRTV, FM Radio Stations and Ministry of Health

Nay Pyi Taw, March 21, 2013 – A number of Myanmar’s media, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and UNICEF singed a two year Action Plan under “Community on Air’ Initiative on March 21, 2013 in Nay Pyi Taw. The first of its kind partnerships aims to produce and air specialized broadcast programmes, spots, documentaries and coverage of special/global events on MRTV and the leading FM radio stations.

MRTV along with Mandalay FM, Pyincawaddy FM, Padamya FM, Bagan FM and Cherry FM endorsed individual Action Plans with Ministry of Health and UNICEF.

“In collaboration with UNICEF, the Ministry of Health has been working very closely with media and Ministry of Information to disseminate messages on the child survival and development through print and broadcast media.” said H.E Dr. Daw Thein Thein Htay, Deputy Minister for Health.

“Effective from September, 2013, MRTV is scheduled to develop three new digital channels: one is for parliamentary session, one for farmers in rural areas and one for ethnic channel. So, it will be a good opportunity for UNICEF and Ministry of Health to develop more new programmes in cooperation with MRTV,” said H.E U Pike Htwe, Deputy Minister for Information.

“Families are the first line of support, care and love for children. To effectively protect their children against illnesses and abuse they need the right information at the right time,” said Mr. Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative in Myanmar.

“The current winds of change in the country are the dawn of a new era for the media in Myanmar. It must be harnessed to give every child the best start in life,” he added.

Since 2009, UNICEF partnered with FM radio stations and aired radio programmes on exclusive breastfeeding, HIV/AIDS, PMCT, measles campaign, intensification of routine immunization.

As prevention is better than cure, with these key messages for community and family practices reaching the most vulnerable people, the child morbidity rate will not only be reduced but also the mortality rate in Myanmar.

Through this joint action, key developmental issues related to health, water and sanitation, nutrition, child protection, education will be promoted to empower communities on individual and collective actions through MRTV and FM radio stations. Many of the causes of infant, child and maternal diseases and deaths can be prevented through improved understanding, timely precautions and appropriate behaviours.

About 50 senior officials and journalists from the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Health, FM radio and media attended the ceremony.

For more information, please contact:

Ye Lwin Oo, Communication Officer, Programme Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: +95-1-375527-32,

Sandar Linn, Communication Officer, Programme Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: +95-1-375527-32,