UNICEF e-newsletter

Nepal’s national vitamin A drive proceeds despite unrest 03 May 2006

UNICEF’s nationwide campaign to distribute life-saving Vitamin A capsules to Nepalese children was largely a success last month – despite then-escalating political turmoil in the country.

Families turned out in droves all across Nepal for the two-day drive, even though a general strike and daytime curfews restricted the movement of many.

As a result, millions of Nepalese children – ranging in age from six months to five years – received vitamin A capsules as part of an effort to protect children’s health by boosting their immune systems.

The drive was not without its challenges and incidents.

Ongoing violence between the government and protesters in Nepal prompted UNICEF and its partners to urge that both sides designate distribution centres as ‘safe spaces’. Thankfully, the request was quickly accepted by the parties, who released press statements reiterating their support for vitamin A distribution.
In one incident, a UNICEF monitoring mission was waved through a large crowd of protestors blocking a road. They let the vehicle pass and cheered as it drove by.

Meanwhile, Ram Krishna Khatiwada, 27, a member of the Armed Police Force, stood guard by the gate of the Mitra Park health clinic. “This is a good thing, and I feel good being here,” he said, watching the children file past.

For those children who were not reached in some urban areas due to the curfews, UNICEF Nepal plans to distribute additional vitamin A capsules when the situation has calmed. The capsules protect over 12,000 Nepalese children from dying every year due to various illnesses and prevent another 2,000 children from going blind.

Your support of UNICEF makes efforts like this possible. And no matter what obstacles UNICEF may face, we’ll continue to do all we can to put children first – in Nepal and all around the world.

For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection

© UNICEF Nepal/2006/Joshi

Despite political turmoil, families lined up in Kathmandu last week for their children to receive life-saving vitamin A.

Video: UNICEF correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on the recent nationwide vitamin A campaign in Nepal.

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Related Links:

UNICEF responds to needs of children and families in Nepal crisis

Nepal’s national vitamin A campaign proceeds despite unrest [with video]

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