Disease prevention starts early: Taiwan CDC releases first bilingual book set that teaches kids ways to keep sickness at bay

As part of Taiwan “Bilingual Nation” policy and to promote disease prevention awareness among children and their caregivers, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) published a bilingual picture book set titled “Chelsea and Friends” in 2019. The book set was launched on September 24 at a press conference that also highlighted the importance of handwashing. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare   Hsueh Jui-yuan presided at the launch event. Celebrity and mother-of-two Melody Liu served as a campaign ambassador. She shared her experiences raising her children and gave practical advice for disease prevention, while emphasizing the importance of proper handwashing, personal health management, and timely vaccinations in preventing early childhood diseases. 

Deputy Minister Hsueh said that in the back-to-school season, common infectious diseases such as enterovirus and influenza can spread fast and turn into outbreaks. He said it’s important to teach disease prevention to young children, instilling good personal hygiene habits and the concept of resting at home when sick. Taiwan CDC published the bilingual picture books in hopes of reaching more children and teaching them disease prevention and self-protection. These books will be gifted to 956 primary schools in rural areas across the country. Through promoting picture books, Taiwan CDC hopes to help children acquire concepts and behaviors that prevent disease.

Campaign ambassador Melody also shared her experience of raising two daughters. In English and Chinese, she and two children at the press conference talked through the steps of proper handwashing, a powerful defense against diseases like enterovirus. Melody said that as the campaign ambassador, she’d already had a chance to read the illustrated books. She said they contain interesting storylines that bring dry concepts to life, allowing kids and adults to learn together as they share quality time. She highly recommended the books to any parent with a young child at home.

Each of the four bilingual books focuses on an infectious disease that children may come into contact with in their everyday lives: enterovirus, novel influenza A, influenza, and viral gastroenteritis. The protagonist Chelsea and her friends guide readers in an easy-to-understand way to learn the symptoms of these diseases and means of preventing them. By reading the books, children will learn proper approaches to disease prevention, so that they can keep sickness at bay and enjoy more time being healthy and active. In addition, Taiwan CDC has partnered with Wu-Nan Culture Enterprise to hold book promotions on September 28 and 29 at the parent-child space of Taichung City’s Wunan Cultural Plaza (2F, No. 6, Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City). There will be storytelling for children, as well as film screenings and other activities. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and help protect the health of youngsters. Those wishing to attend are welcome to register online (https://www.accupass.com/event/1909170741514303599570).