Pakistan has yet to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing under-five deaths to 52 per 1,000 births, and under-one deaths to 40 per 1,000 by 2015. In an effort to achieve this goal, Mother and Child weeks are held twice a year with focused messages on deaths caused by preventable diseases.
The Punjab Health Department in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) announced the observance of Mother and Child Health week twice during the year 2014. JSCD in collaboration with UNICEF, Department of Health and Department of Education, Rajanpur, exhibited its full support and observed Mother and Child Health Week twice from 12-17 May and 17-22 November 2014.

Objectives
The main objective of celebrating the Mother and Child Health Week was to pick up pace in achieving the MDGs 2015. JSCD served the objective through widespread dissemination of basic and vital information on indicators of maternal and child health with emphasis on immunization against preventable diseases.
Details of activities planned and successfully realized during the Mother and Child health week in 2014 is present below.
Poster and declamation contest
During the Mother and Child health week, JSCD targeted the younger generation to create awareness about issues pertaining to health and hygiene. This was achieved through two different competitions;
• Poster making competition
• Declamation contest

The two competitions displayed large participation of students who presented themselves as advocates of health and hygiene. To assist the participants, stationery required for making posters was provided during the competition. As a result of these competitions students were presented with a platform for to express and voice their concept and concern about present situation of health and hygiene.
The competitions were followed by award distribution ceremony. The efforts of participants were appreciated by presenting gifts and certificates.
Health and hygiene sessions
JSCD organized health and hygiene sessions at schools and with local community members in the target Union Councils. The health and hygiene sessions concentrated on the following; prevention of diseases through hygienic practices.
During the session some of the most common causes of diseases that spread through dirty hands and contaminated water were elaborated. Accordingly, simple hygienic practices were endorsed such as use of safe water for drinking and cooking, washing hands before and after meals and after visiting the washroom.
It was further highlighted that simple everyday hygienic practices can save children from numerous diseases and thereby reduces mortality rates by 10 percent among children.
It was concluded that safe hygienic practices contribute towards improving health and nutrition and consequently child survival in Pakistan. Precious lives can be saved by simple knowledge about prevention, treatment and by adopting some key measures at home and appropriate healthcare practices.

JSCD