|© UNICEF/ HQ99-0394/ Thomas|
|A woman health worker holds a crying baby while others wait their turn to be vaccinated in a UNICEF-assisted clinic in a tent at the Cegrane camp. TFYR Macedonia.|
Providing access to community-based health services, backed by a strong referral system can save the lives of millions of children. UNICEF’s focus therefore is on delivering key interventions at the community level, as part of integrated efforts to support the establishment of stronger national health systems.
UNICEF leads efforts to accelerate the scaling up of an integrated package of low cost, high impact child survival interventions through support for Child Health Days (CHDs) and routine health services. These efforts include support for intensifying communication with families and communities to ensure improved health and nutrition and strengthening the capacity of routine health services.
UNICEF contributes to mortality and morbidity reduction in vaccine preventable diseases by advocating with governments, ensuring that sufficient quality supplies are available at the time of planned immunization activities, and by focusing on reaching the most difficult to reach children. UNICEF provides 40 per cent of the world’s doses of vaccine for children. In 2007, UNICEF procured more than 3 billion doses of vaccines for the world’s poorest children.
Over the last few years, UNICEF's support for combating malaria has grown steadily and rapidly. UNICEF works closely with national governments and other partners to scale up the availability of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and Artemisinine based Combination Therapy (ACTs) and ensure that malaria is high on every national health agenda in malaria endemic countries. UNICEF has significantly increased its procurement of ITNs, from around 7 million in 2004 to nearly 25 million in 2006 and provided technical support to scale up the distribution and use of these nets.
Together with the World Health Organization and other interested stakeholders, UNICEF has developed a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia, in the context of a comprehensive child survival strategy. The ultimate goal of the Action Plan is to facilitate the scaling up of comprehensive and integrated pneumonia interventions to reduce pneumonia mortality. UNICEF and WHO also reviewed the Community Case Management of pneumonia in 54 countries with high under five mortality rates.