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PAHO Partners with Sesame Workshop to Promote Vaccination in the Americas

Internationally popular Sesame Street characters to be featured during Vaccination Week in the Americas, April 21 to 28

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2007 (PAHO)—The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is partnering with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo to encourage parents throughout the Americas to immunize their children during Vaccination Week in the Americas, April 21 to 28.

Bert, Ernie, Elmo, and other Sesame Street characters will be featured in posters, flyers, and stickers produced by PAHO for the hemisphere-wide effort next week. Sesame Street characters have broad appeal throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, where co-productions of Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo are widely viewed.

Vaccination Week in the Americas, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of immunization and to improve vaccination coverage, particularly in difficult-to-reach populations and areas with historically low coverage. Since 2003, the event has reached over 147 million children and adults.

Sesame Workshop, which has been producing Sesame Street for nearly four decades, launched Plaza Sésamo in 1972. The Spanish-language series features many of the classic Muppets of Sesame Street as well as original Latin American characters Abelardo, Lola, and Pancho Contreras. Studio segments are co-produced in Mexico by Sesame Workshop and Televisa, while additional live action segments are filmed throughout various regions of Latin America. Sesame Workshop's participation in this campaign is an important compliment to their recently launched Plaza Sesamo Healthy Habits for Life project, encouraging children throughout Latin America to exercise, eat healthy foods, and develop a repertoire of healthy habits that are simple, fun, and can be practiced forever.

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Sesame Street airs on PBS in the US, and Plaza Sesamo is available throughout Latin America on Discovery Kids. Sesame Workshop distributes its programming in more than 120 countries worldwide. The organization works with local directors, producers, writers and child-development experts to produce content that is engaging, enriching, and culturally relevant in different countries of the world.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest public health organization. It serves as the regional office of the World Health Organization, and works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples.

For more information please contact , PAHO, Public Information, 202-974-3459, or Beatrice Chow, email: Beatrice.Chow@sesameworkshop.org, Sesame Workshop, Tel 212 875 6586..

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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