TV show launched in Cambodia to teach children about COVID-19 prevention

File: In this photo taken on December 5, 2019, children play near a floating village along the Siem Reap river. (Photo: AFP)
  • Xinhua
  • May 24, 2020 4:24 AM

PHNOM PENH -- A child-friendly animation series Happy Family, which educates children about COVID-19 prevention, will be aired on several of Cambodia's local TV channels for one month, starting from Saturday, said a joint press release on Friday.

The videos are produced by Cambodia's Ministry of Education, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children, the press release said, adding that this TV program provides children and caretakers with life-long skills on how to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, how to stop it from spreading, as well as how to cope with the pandemic aftermath.

The edutainment series has a target audience of 5 to 10 years old, it said, adding that the storyline and messaging spans handwashing, social distancing, learning from home, mental and physical well-being, and stigma and discrimination.

Each episode is unique and appealing for parents and other caregivers, who will also learn, alongside their children, how to apply suggested prevention techniques for COVID-19, the press release said.

The key messages are communicated through situations and explanations that are child friendly, fun and engaging, and this increases the chance that children can apply key actions demonstrated to help prevent the spread of the virus, it said.

Cristian Munduate, UNICEF's representative in Cambodia, said in time of crisis, children bear the highest toll, and UNICEF is working with partners to make sure that children have access to tailored, child-friendly and inclusive information on how to protect themselves.

"Knowing how to properly wash their hands or observe the correct social distancing can be lifesaving. While schools and public events are not accessible, we hope that through TV and social media, we can provide families around the country with the knowledge they need to stay healthy and safe," she said.

The video series will be broadcasted on children's TV programs during the weekend, namely on Bayon TV, TV5 and PNN as well as on social media channels.

 Elizabeth Pearce, country director of Save the Children in Cambodia, said in general, infectious diseases spread more quickly among children who are more tactile, and less able to understand instructions about hygiene and sanitation.

"Children are not immune to COVID-19 and can play a key role in helping reduce transmission rates, not just among themselves, but in informing parents, aunties and grandparents and other younger children too," she said.

 Cambodia has so far reported a total of 124 COVID-19 cases, with 122 patients cured, according to a Ministry of Health statement on Thursday.


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