Opening Remarks By Mr. Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Representative at the Launch of UNICEF’s ZEROworkplace

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Date: 10 November 2014
Event: Launch of UNICEF's ZEROworkplace
Venue: Compound of Pou Yuen Company, Tan Tao Industrial Zone, Binh Tan District, HCMC

Yossoup speechOn behalf of UNICEF in Viet Nam, I am very pleased to celebrate the launch of UNICEF's ZEROworkplace at the Pouyuen Company compound. I take this opportunity to applaud and congratulate both Pouyuen and Mobivi for being the first two companies to join the ZEROworkplace.

We believe that the number of preventable child deaths should be ZERO, yet in Viet Nam, 100 children die every day of preventable causes. UNICEF's ZEROworkplace is an easy and inexpensive way for the business community to support our goal of ZERO preventable child deaths by leveraging the workplace as a place to give employees access to critical information which can have life-saving impact on children.

Working parents spend most of their day at the workplace – a perfect vehicle to deliver information about health, nutrition, education and the protection of children to millions of employees, parents, and care-takers.

UNICEF's ZEROworkplace is also a community – protecting and supporting those within your workplace and those around you. By joining this community both Pouyuen and Mobivi have the potential to reach out to nearly half a million employees, most of whom are female migrant workers.

At today's launch, Pouyuen Company is promoting the first of many life-saving initiatives: the National Measles Rubella Immunization Campaign. Using an easy to implement "toolkit" consisting of communication materials accessible online for free, Pouyuen is calling on all employees to ensure that they and all their children are vaccinated against measles and rubella.

On October 11th, I had the privilege of launching the National Measles Rubella Campaign on behalf of the United Nations with the Vice-President of Viet Nam and the Minister of Health in Ha Noi. This campaign is being launched in collaboration with the Government of Viet Nam, UNICEF, WHO and GAVI. It is the largest immunization campaign to date, aiming to vaccinate 23 million children over the next five months.

This includes 1.3 million children in Ho Chi Minh City—a truly massive effort! I salute the commitment of the Ministry of Health and Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City for undertaking this investment and for their leadership in making preventable maternal, neonatal and childhood deaths a thing of the past.

Measles and rubella deaths are preventable by vaccines. To ensure no child is missed, we need a strong partnership and collaboration with the business community to support the Measles Rubella campaign in Ho Chi Minh City and in Viet Nam nationwide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Immunized children are healthier and perform better in school. As adults they earn higher incomes and raise healthier children.

The value of the investment also goes well beyond public health – and hence contributes to a competitive economy and makes stronger societies.

Our partnerships with the business community, such as with Pouyuen and Mobivi, and with our celebrity moms such as Cam Ly and My Linh, will help us to get immunization to every child, everywhere, and to ultimately reach ZERO preventable child deaths in Viet Nam.

For more than 60 years, UNICEF's partnership with the private sector has helped to deliver results for the world's most vulnerable children.

Looking ahead, UNICEF's partnerships with the business community will be more important than ever in overcoming future challenges for children in Viet Nam. We look forward to seeing businesses join the ZEROworkplace and helping us reach our goal of ZERO.

Together we can reach every child and as a first start, make Viet Nam measles and rubella free!

Thank you.