|© UNICEF video|
|Chadian artists perform at a public concert organized by UNICEF and partners in the capital, N’Djamena, to raise awareness about polio immunization.|
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 14 June 2011 – Some of Chad’s most prominent artists came together last month for ‘Deux Gouttes’, a concert held here in the capital under UNICEF’s auspices, to raise awareness about polio and increase the visibility of the country’s polio immunization campaign.
‘Deux Gouttes’ – or ‘Two Drops’ – refers to the dose of oral polio vaccine that can help prevent paralysis or even death from this dangerous childhood disease.
Chad’s polio epidemic has officially been declared a public health emergency. As of 15 May, the total number of cases for 2011 already stood at 52, twice the number recorded in all of 2010.
Throughout the concert, representatives of UNICEF, the Government of Chad, the World Health Organization and the Chadian Red Cross, as well as the performers themselves, informed the audience about the state of the epidemic. They also stressed the critical importance of immunizing all children under the age of five.
“UNICEF is committed and has the will to work together with the government, and with all of you, to eradicate polio from Chad,” UNICEF Representative in Chad Dr. Marzio Babille said from the stage.
Approximately 9,000 people of all ages attended the concert, which took place in Fest’Afrika, the largest public events venue in N’Djamena. Audience members sang and danced to a line-up of artists representing Chad’s rich cultural and musical diversity.
‘Two drops, that’s all’
Among those featured were Djass Ratebaye, who sang about his experience with polio as a child; Les Princesses du Sahel, a group of teenage girls who sang out against gender based violence; and Sultan, who was joined in song by young people in the audience during ‘Enfant Soldat’, his anthem condemning the use of children in armed conflict.
The artists also performed ‘Deux Gouttes, Stop Polio’, a song composed for the concert. As vocalist Audrey Linda Shey sang, directly addressing mothers in the crowd: “If we’re going to kick polio out of Chad, dear moms, open the doors of your house to vaccinating agents. Two drops, that’s all, stop polio!”