A milestone in the effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 19 November 2013 – It’s an early start for Rahila*, a volunteer who knocks at every door in her community asking mothers to bring their children to get vaccinated against the crippling polio virus. The chill in the morning breeze doesn’t deter this determined health worker from doing her rounds.
Immunization campaign in Nigeria mobilizes a nation for child survival, village by village
KANO STATE, Nigeria, 6 November 2013 – The man with the megaphone calls for mothers and fathers to bring their children for vaccinations. The message is a tinny monotone, repetitive, not unlike a call to prayer.
In Jordan, polio vaccination campaign focuses on Syrian refugee children
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 5 November 2013 – The smell of coffee breaks the stale, dusty Za’atari air. Inside a caravan home, 19-year-old Hana'a is cooking up a strong Arabic brew. Her 18-month-old daughter, Ayah, is playing ball with her father.
Despite conflict and displacement, half a million children vaccinated, and counting
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 4 November 2013 – The vaccination area was strategically set up at an entrance to one of the displacement camps in Bossangoa, in the northwest of the Central African Republic. After returning from the fields to pick pumpkins, eggplants and cassava, women would stop in and get their children vaccinated.
UNICEF Executive Director meets with displaced families during immunization campaign in the Syrian Arab Republic
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 October 2013 – During a two-day visit to the Syrian Arab Republic, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has praised the efforts of national partners, community and local organizations and volunteers in the provision of humanitarian assistance for the most at-risk Syrian children and women.
A vaccination campaign hopes to reach 2.4 million children in the Syrian Arab Republic
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 28 October 2013 – “Nurses will visit the school and give you vaccines that will protect you from disease and sickness,” announces Rihab to her Grade 6 students at the end of the school day. It is a scene repeated in thousands of classrooms across the Syrian Arab Republic in advance of a vaccination campaign.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow says it's past time for polio to end
NEW YORK, United States, 24 October 2013 – There was a time when polio was one of the most feared diseases in the world. There was a time when, each year, thousands of children were left paralysed by this highly infectious virus.
On the front lines of polio eradication in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 23 October 2013 – Eradicating polio in Afghanistan – one of only three countries where the disease remains endemic – is a battle taking place every day across the country. Against the larger backdrop of instability and suffering that continues to draw the world’s focus, it is also largely invisible.
In Somalia, a major campaign to stop the spread of polio
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 August 2013 – The mother of 3-year-old Mohamed Seef Naasir never realized the importance of vaccinating her children against polio until it was too late. The family lives hand-to -mouth in a makeshift shelter in a camp in the Somali capital Mogadishu for people displaced by the famine and conflict.
Polio survivors strive for a polio-free Nigeria
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 6 August 2013 – Karima Usman is 38 years old. Today, she struggles to peddle her tricycle with her hands as she navigates the rain-lashed bylanes of Yamma-II ward of the Katsina Local Government Area (LGA) in this northern Nigerian state.
Polio outbreak in Somalia threatens to spread
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2013 – Faisa Abdullahi, 8 years old, lives in a camp for internally displaced people, where her family moved after their cattle died. She had never been given any vaccinations, and during the last polio outbreak, Faisa contracted the disease. Now she can only walk with the help of her crutches.
In Yemen, a major campaign to immunize under-5s
SANA’A, Yemen, 16 July 2013 –The huge turnout of mothers, fathers and even grandfathers at the start of the National Immunization Days (NIDs) campaign made for an impressive sight in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. Many had travelled long distances to ensure their children got vaccinated. “I brought my daughter to get vaccine drops because I don’t want her to be disabled,” said Amenah’s father, Abdullah Alhasani.
Integrating services to scale up birth registration in Nigeria
KADUNA, Nigeria, 15 July 2013 – Rose Wisdom rocks her baby girl back and forth. Mami is only two weeks old and appears uncomfortable with the heat and the bustle around her at the Hope for the Village Child Foundation Centre in Chikun, on the outskirts of Kaduna in northern Nigeria.
Emergency vaccination campaign protects children from measles in conflict-hit Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 24 May 2013 – It’s the first day of a measles vaccination campaign, and 3-year-old Teves is among the first to be vaccinated at the Ouango Health Centre in Bangui. His mother, Aubierge Goneme, says she learned about the campaign from radio broadcasts and from organizers who passed through their neighbourhood with megaphones and pamphlets.
With a rising refugee population, a camp at risk of disease
DOMIZ, Iraq, 22 May 2013 – The Domiz refugee camp, which sits about 60 kilometres from the Syrian border amidst an imposing mountain landscape, was originally built to accommodate 22,000 people. Today it is home to around 40,000 Syrian refugees.
Lenny Kravitz asks for your help in saving children from preventable diseases
NEW YORK, United States of America, 13 May 2013 – Four-year old Shahadat was crippled by polio when he was only 2. It came on suddenly, paralyzing his entire body. Shahadat can move his left leg, but he will never regain the use of his right leg. Living in cramped quarters near India’s capital, New Delhi, he faces a lifetime with a permanent handicap. Shahadat will never run home from school, chase a ball and live a life he deserved.
In Afghanistan, reaching the hardest to reach with vaccines
KABUL, Afghanistan, 10 May 2013 – It has been another painful journey back from the children’s hospital for 4-year old Akram, a trip the young boy has made several times in the past two weeks with his mother, Zarghona. Akram was diagnosed with measles, and the disease has made him feeble and tired, with a high fever and little appetite.
A new pneumonia vaccine is launched to save thousands of children
IGANGA DISTRICT, Uganda, 10 May 2013 – Pneumonia is one of the top three killer diseases of children under the age of 5 globally. In Uganda, pneumonia kills up to 24,000 children every year before their fifth birthday. But now thousands of children’s lives will be saved by the recent introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
Two drops for Mecca: Mother of polio-affected girl opens doors to vaccination
HAWAN DAKI, Nigeria, 8 May 2013 – Aisha may not be able to read, but she never forgets a name, or a child. "Where are Hassan, Hassana and the other kids?" Aisha asks the woman of the house as she stands in the doorway. Hassana is in, but Hassan is outside,” says their mother.
Solar power keeps vaccines cool in rural Haiti
ROSSIGNOL, Haiti, 3 May 2013 – Suzette Beliard has been a community health worker in this rural town for seven years. Today, like on many days, she’s preparing to give children vaccines and drops of vitamin A.
Determined to protect every child in Pakistan from measles
QUETTA, Pakistan, 2 May 2013 – Kausar Parveen prepares an injection. Her resolve to vaccinate every child within her reach has kept her going with the same vigour for quarter of a century.
In Iraq, vaccination campaign reaches thousands of Syrian refugees
DOHUK, IRAQ, 29 April 2013 – “I have just taken my shots, and I did not cry!” says the girl to her brothers and sisters. She holds an ice cream in her hand.
Groundbreaking new vaccine will save lives in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 30 April 2013 – At the Medina Mother and Child Health Centre in Mogadishu, 6-month-old Abdul Wahab sleeps peacefully in his mother’s arms.
In Jordan, Za'atari refugee camp hosts mass immunization campaign
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 25 April 2013 – As the sun rises over Za’atari refugee camp, gusts of wind blow sand high into the air. Families begin to emerge from between rows of tents that line the camp.
Rwanda is first sub-Saharan African country to introduce dual measles and rubella vaccine
NYAKARIRO, Rwanda, 25 April 2013 – Giovance Kyomugisha and her family live in a small rural village about a three-hour drive from the capital, Kigali. A year ago, Ms. Kyomugisha was terrified. All five of her children had developed a high fever, diarrhoea and a rash on their skin.
Mozambique rolls out new pneumococcal vaccine
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 22 April 2013 – The dirt road that leads to the Malhangalene Medical Centre in Maputo has turned to mud. Hard rain has been pelting the capital city throughout the day, making everyone wish the rainy season were over.
Reaching the fifth child in northern Viet Nam’s Lao Cai province
LAO CAI PROVINCE, Viet Nam, 17 April 2013 – It’s Immunization Day at designated health centres in northern Viet Nam’s Lao Cai province. Parents have brought their children to be vaccinated or to receive their follow-up doses.
Revolutionary optimists bring their message to UNICEF
NEW YORK, United States of America, 3 April 2013 – Armed with loudspeakers and mapping devices, young activists who call themselves ‘the Daredevils’ have amplified the concerns of their communities in Kolkata’s slums loudly enough for the world to hear.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a powerful ally in the fight to end polio: Part 3 - The owl approach
Southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 April 2013 – We whisper like thieves as we enter the Kadima mission at night through the palms, their spiky shadows projected on the ground in the light of the moon. An Armed Kitawala named Kitobo leads the way, silent and barefoot. He guides the group away from the homes, and away from curious eyes.
Vaccination campaign in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo seeks to halt measles in its tracks
KARISIMBI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 March 2013 – “I heard on the radio that they were vaccinating children,” says Immaculée Ponzone. “That’s why I brought mine here.”
Family Health Days bring Ugandans the routine medical care they need
KABAROLE, Uganda, 4 March 2013 – Priscilla Tusima, a mother of two, used to worry a lot about her children falling sick with diarrhoea, malaria and other diseases. As her family lives in a remote area in western Uganda, where health facilities are lacking, she found it hard to access basic medical care.
Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall joins the fight to abolish measles
NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 October 2012 - Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall has designed a series of posters for the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
Nutrition takes centre stage at United Nations headquarters
NEW YORK, United States of America, 27 September 2012 - Nutrition was the focus of a high-level event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at United Nations headquarters, New York.
United Nations Secretary-General hosts high-level polio meeting
NEW YORK, United States of America, 28 September 2012 - Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the most important meeting on polio eradication of the past 20 years.
Pneumococcal vaccine launched in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 31 July 2012 – At Kuwadzana Polyclinic, in a surburb of Harare, 3-month-old Joe Mahachi was the first child to receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 13), which protects children against pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under age 5.
In DR Congo, communications efforts are turning back religious resistance to the polio vaccine
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 June 2012 – Though polio has been eradicated from much of the world, it remains a tragic reality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where transmission of the virus was re-established in 2006. Since 2010, it has affected nearly 200 people.
In Zimbabwe, a weeklong immunization campaign focuses on ending preventable diseases
SEKE, Zimbabwe, 27 June 2012 – At 10 a.m., Seke Rural North Clinic was a hive of activity. It was the first day of the National Immunization Days, a countrywide immunization campaign, and the turnout was huge.
In Mauritania, healthcare campaign aims to save children from preventable diseases
M’BOUT and NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 28 June 2012 – More than 500,000 children across Mauritania have benefited from a two-month campaign organized by the Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), that provided an integrated package of immunizations (including measles and polio vaccinations) and vitamin A supplementation for all Mauritanian children under 5 years old.
Social mobilization campaigns help reduce child mortality in Madagascar
TULEAR, Madagascar, 25 June 2012 – Onja is a star, the lead singer of Tinondia, one of Madagascar’s most famous bands. Eliane, by contrast, is not famous at all. Eliane grew up in the poor, glamour-less world of a slum in the south-western city of Tulear.
In DR Congo, support for the cold chain essential to eradicating polio
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 June 2012 – Poor infrastructure and difficult terrain isolate many villages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This lack of access is the greatest obstacle to the country’s provision of health care.
Social mobilizers encourage communities to get vaccinated against polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 22 June 2012 – Poor hygiene practices and community resistance to vaccination have enabled wild poliovirus to re-surface in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent years.
UNICEF engages community leaders and parents to increase vaccine coverage and eliminate polio
KAGANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 June 2012 – Since 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has had 193 polio cases.
In DR Congo, soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua promotes polio vaccination
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 15 June 2012 – Congolese soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua recently accompanied a mobile team of polio vaccinators in Kinshasa during the second round of the 2012 National Immunization Days.
Child Survival Call to Action summit closes with commitment to eliminate preventable child deaths
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 16 June 2012 – Ethiopia’s Minister of Health opened the second day of the Child Survival Call to Action conference in Washington, D.C, by encouraging countries to take ownership of new international momentum to reduce child mortality.
Child Survival Call to Action challenges the world to reduce child mortality
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 14 June 2012 – United Sates Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged international leaders gathered at Georgetown University to commit more resources and effort to reduce the numbers of deaths of children.
With pneumonia and diarrhoea vaccines, Rwanda makes gains in child survival
RUTONDE/KIGALI, Rwanda, 6 June 2012 – With heavy breathing, fever and no appetite, 8-month-old Elie Noikumwenagyo arrived at the Rutonde health clinic in rural Rwanda. There, he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF reaches out to ethnic minorities in the fight against polio
BOYALI VILLAGE, Central African Republic, 30 May 2012 – Following the discovery of four cases of polio in late 2011, UNICEF and its partners have supported the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) in organizing a series of emergency polio vaccination campaigns in 2012.
Increasing demand for vaccination services in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 24 May 2012 – In the past, parents would wait for vaccinators to visit their homes on National Immunization Days (NIDs). But this recent round of immunizations saw throngs of mothers arrive at the Munuki Primary Health Care Center to have their children vaccinated – an indication that parents are increasingly motivated to protect their children from deadly but preventable diseases like polio.
Immunization and education for Malian refugees in Mauritania
M’BERA, Mauritania, 23 May 2012 – Conflict in Mali has displaced hundreds of thousands. Around 64,000 Malian refugees, including 39,000 children, are now living in a refugee camp at M’Bera in the far south-eastern corner of Mauritania. The camp is now the largest settlement in the district, three times larger than the capital Bassikunou.
Haiti, with support from UNICEF and partners, begins intensive efforts to improve children's health
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 22 May 2012 – Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population has accelerated vaccination efforts throughout the country, part of a broader package of intensive activities promoting children’s health. These interventions are supported by UNICEF and its national and international partners, including the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ghana launches vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhoea, the country's biggest child killers
ACCRA, Ghana, 27 April 2012 – Alimatu Mohammed drove for three hours on a rattling minibus to get her son treated for severe diarrhoea at a hospital this week.
Cross-border immunization programme protects Namibians and Angolans
OSHIKANGO, Namibia, 26 April 2012 – The Namibian-Angolan border post at Oshikango is hectic on a normal afternoon. Since the conflict in Angola ended, trade between Namibia and Angola has flourished.
UNICEF Executive Director announces new global immunization strategy
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2012 – This week, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, alongside partners in the newly renamed Measles and Rubella Initiative, launched a new global strategy aimed at reducing measles deaths and congenital rubella syndrome to zero.
In DR Congo, polio survivors advocate on behalf of immunization efforts
BAS-CONGO, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 24 April 2012 – Roger Vuanda Movita was only 2 years old when polio took away his ability to walk.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo supports World Immunization Week
NEW YORK, USA, 23 April 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo is supporting the first-ever World Immunization Week, an international effort to highlight the importance of immunization.
In Pakistan, religious leaders help change misconceptions about the polio vaccine
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 20 April 2012 – A sermon by an imam is all it takes to change misconceptions about the polio vaccines in some communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, in northwest Pakistan. A brief talk by the religious leader reassures everyone that no harm – medical, social or religious – comes from the life-saving vaccine.
In Central African Republic, polio eradication is a national priority
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 April 2012 – At 7 a.m. one Sunday, the Mamadou-Mbaiki Heath Centre is buzzing with activity. Insulated boxes are being filled with cooling packs and polio vaccines. Vaccination teams – consisting of a vaccinator, a social mobilization specialist and a volunteer – are preparing to depart, getting an early start to the third day of the three-day National Polio Vaccination campaign.
In Nigeria, the Polio Free Torch campaign aims to make the country polio-free
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 5 April 2012 – “I want to call on our brothers and sisters… to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue,” announced Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State, at the state launch of the Polio Free Torch campaign in the city of Maiduguri.
UNICEF supports a massive measles and polio vaccination campaign in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 3 April 2012 – Mohammed Abdulkarim Saeed and his two sons, 1-month-old Yusuf and 18-month-old Ibrahim, eagerly awaited the launch of the second phase of the national measles and polio campaign in Sana’a.
In Pakistan, the 'United Against Polio' football tournament fights the scourge of polio
KARACHI, Pakistan, 29 March 2012 – Amid cheers, the Frontier Mujahid team takes their victory lap. The football team has just defeated National Frontier 2-1 in the final, beating 15 other teams to win the trophy.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits Chad for the launch of a massive polio immunization campaign
MOUNDOU/N'DJAMENA, Chad, 13 March 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow recently visited Chad to attend the launch of a massive polio immunization campaign and to raise awareness of the importance of ending polio transmission once and for all.
UNICEF-supported programmes save young children from malnutrition in Darfur, Sudan
NYALA, South Darfur, Sudan, 5 March 2012 – Getting a medical check-up is never a pleasant experience, and Yasmine, 1, is plainly not enjoying hers. She wails miserably as she is hoisted into a blue canvas scale and then suspended in mid-air for a few seconds while a nurse reads her weight.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends Angola’s first polio eradication campaign of the year
LUANDA, Angola, 2 March 2012 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the first polio eradication campaign of 2012 in Angola this week . Community health workers and volunteers are mobilizing to vaccinate more than six million children under the age of five throughout the country.
India no longer a polio-endemic country
NEW DELHI, India, 1 March 2012 – On Saturday, 25 February, 2012, India was officially struck off the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization (WHO), having gone more than one year without reporting any cases of wild poliovirus. India’s success leaves only three countries in the world considered polio-endemic – meaning they have never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus transmission – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
In DR Congo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow encourages polio vaccination in reluctant communities
KASAMBONDO VILLAGE/NYUNZU/MUKAWA VILLAGE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 February 2012 – Peddling by hand, Mulasi Huesseini forces her wheelchair through the sand and into the eastern village of Kasambondo. Her friends walk alongside, carrying their babies. One of them also carries Ms. Husseini's 4-month-old son, Lubumba.
In Chad, promoting immunization to fight deadly measles
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 21 February 2012 – During the second phase of a measles immunization campaign, in early February, vaccinators were hard at work immunizing long lines of waiting children.
In Niger, working to reach every child in the fight against polio
KAOURA ALLASSAN, Niger, 13 February 2012 – February 4 saw the launch of a three-day polio immunization campaign, known as Subnational Immunization Days. Children in 21 districts were targeted for vaccination against the paralyzing, and potentially fatal, polio virus.
Vaccinating children in Haiti’s hardest-to-reach communities
CAP HAITIAN, Haiti, 23 January 2012 – It doesn’t take an earthquake to kill a child. More often, children are killed by something much less dramatic, and much more insidious: disease.
Marking its first year without any polio cases, India takes a giant leap toward wiping out the disease
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2012 – Once recognized as the epicenter of the polio epidemic, India is now on the verge of creating history by stopping the transmission of polio.
UNICEF plans major expansion of global vaccine programme
NEW YORK, USA, 3 January 2012 – UNICEF is preparing ambitious plans to update, strengthen and vastly expand its global vaccination programme.
The Government of Japan has announced a pledge of US$9.3 million to fund polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 29 December 2011 – Meeting at the immunization centre of the Indira Ghandi Hospital in bustling Kabul on 10 December, representatives of the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNICEF announced the Government of Japan’s pledge of US$9.3 million to fund an infectious disease prevention programme for the children of Afghanistan.
In Ethiopia, bringing child pneumonia deaths down to zero
OROMIA REGION, Ethiopia, 27 December 2011 – One-year-old Kedir Mudi and his mother, Alemnesh Gerefa, play in the waiting area of the health post in Derer Ebija, a rural village in Oromia Region. Only three months ago, this happy toddler came dangerously close to death after contracting pneumonia, one of the leading killers of children in Ethiopia.
Simultaneous measles and polio vaccination drives to protect children in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 December 2011 – “Since her birth, I have brought my daughter regularly for vaccination to the health center,” said Benjamin Bikangi, 35. “We have so many difficulties in this country. I want her to be safe, at least from diseases.”
UNICEF supports interventions to break the polio cycle in DR Congo
KINSHASHA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 20 December 2011 – “Who cultivates ignorance will harvest disease!” These were the closing words of a sketch performed in Popokabaka, part of a recent polio drive launched in response to the country’s rash of polio cases this year.
In India, campaign appeals to caregivers to vaccinate children against polio
MUMBAI, India, 19 December 2011 – Launching a new polio eradication campaign, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan appealed to parents and caregivers throughout the country to take advantage of the opportunity to “make polio history in India.”
In Sudan, protecting every child against the menace of polio
KHARTOUM, Sudan, 6 December 2011 – Rahma Sid Ahmed pores over a roughly drawn pencil map that will help her locate children under age five. She is part of a team of vaccinators who have come to the Al Shagara neighbourhood, in southern Khartoum, to immunize all children under five against the crippling polio virus.
Lao PDR takes a swipe at measles and rubella
VIENTIANE PROVINCE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 8 December 2011 – The sound of a gong from a nearby temple echoes in the distance as morning approaches. The sky is still dark, but it’s not too early for Ms. Kongkeo, a nurse in the district hospital, who has been awake for hours. She and her team are preparing for another day of immunizations targeting children between ages 9 months and 19 years in the surrounding areas.
UNICEF-supported mosquito net distribution campaign helps fight malaria in Guinea Bissau
GUINEA BISSAU, Bissau, 8 November 2011 - Mosquito-borne malaria is one of the principal causes of death, underweight babies, and premature births in Guinea Bissau. To help fight this deadly scourge, the Ministry of Health, with UNICEF support, ran a mosquito net distribution campaign last week, which aimed to provide one net for every two people across Guinea Bissau – over 880,000.
UNICEF Ambassador Fernando Alonso promotes polio eradication in India
NEW DELHI, India, 1 November 2011 - “Polio is a terrible, crippling disease of children, which we can and should eradicate from the planet,” said Fernando Alonso during a visit to the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya Paediatric Hospital in late October.
World leaders join Bill Gates in $122 million pledge for polio eradication
PERTH, Australia, 31 October 2011 – World leaders from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria and Pakistan joined Bill Gates on Saturday in pledging $122 million in new funds to help deliver a polio-free world.
Immunizing millions of children to eradicate polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 October 2011 – The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with support from UNICEF and partners, recently concluded a massive campaign seeking to immunize more than 14 million children under age five against polio.
On World Polio Day, UNICEF launches new website focusing on global immunization strategies
NEW YORK, USA, 24 October 2011 – Following a dramatic 95 per cent reduction in polio cases last year in Nigeria, the disease is once again on the rise – in large part because of lingering community resistance to polio immunization. To address this resistance, the country recently launched the Polio Free Torch Campaign. Supported by the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) and a number of Nigerian Olympians, the campaign aims to mobilize wide support for the polio eradication efforts currently being made in Nigeria.
Syria launches national ‘catch-up’ immunization drive amid continued unrest
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 October 2011- When the civil unrest began in Syria last march, the small agricultural town of Daraya was one of the first to be impacted. Due to the resulting insecurity, access to the health centers where routine immunization was usually provided became severely limited.
Second round in measles vaccination campaign allows children to ‘catch-up’ in India
DABHIPUR, India, 11 October 2011- In November of 2010, the Government of India, supported by UNICEF and WHO together with other Measles Initiative partners, launched the measles ‘catch-up’ campaign with the aim of reaching 134 million children in 14 high risk Indian states, to prevent an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 child deaths annually. Recently, the second dose of the measles vaccine was administered to children at outreach sites all across the country, and for those who missed out on their first scheduled dose at nine months, they were given a chance to ‘catch up’ with those children who have already received it.
UNICEF-supported campaign aims to immunize millions of children against polio in Côte d’Ivoire
GRAND-BASSAM, Côte d’Ivoire, 6 October 2011 – Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Health and AIDS control, Professor Thérèse N’dri Yoman, recently launched a four-day nationwide UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign, with the aim of immunizing seven million children under the age of five against polio.
Eight million children vaccinated against measles and rubella during national campaign in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 29 September 2011 - Eight million children were vaccinated against measles and rubella (MR) recently, during a week-long campaign in Uzbekistan. With the aim to protect all children between the ages of one and 14 years, against the two highly contagious diseases, vaccination points were opened in all primary health facilities, schools, preschools, and orphanages across the country.
New programme aims to stop the transmission of polio in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 23 September 2011 – Chad’s fight to eradicate polio has become a national emergency as the number of registered polio cases has risen to over 90 to date this year.
In Kenyan camps, vaccine protects Somali refugee children from killer pneumonia
DADAAB, Kenya, 14 September 2011 – About six months ago, Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine, and children now have access to this life-saving intervention through routine immunization in the Dadaab refugee camps in the north-east of the country.
A survivor of polio works to eradicate the disease for Nigeria's future generations
KANO, Nigeria, 4 August 2011 – Aminu Ahmad sits on the side of the road intently watching his young apprentice weld a wheelchair. “This is our workshop and 80 per cent of the people here have disabilities, but we are working hard, just like anybody else,” he explains.
Latest round of immunization fights maternal and neonatal tetanus in Burkina Faso
KAYA, Burkina Faso, 19 July 2011 – Maternal and neonatal tetanus, or MNT, is a swift and painful disease that can threaten the lives of mothers and newborns.
UNICEF and Government of Japan boost 'cold chain' for immunization in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 18 July 2011 – Thousands of children in this West African nation lose out on crucial vaccinations because there isn’t enough equipment to store the vaccines and drugs. In an effort to improve immunization coverage, UNICEF last week delivered ‘cold-chain’ equipment comprising 118 units of refrigerators and freezers.
Prominent Chadian artists come together in concert to raise awareness about polio
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.
Donors commit $4.3 billion to scale up GAVI Alliance’s immunization efforts to 2015
LONDON, United Kingdom, 13 June 2011 – UNICEF, a founding partner of the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance), today welcomed the commitment of $4.3 billion by donors at a fundraising conference in London to step up vaccination efforts over the next four years.
UNICEF supports final push to eradicate polio in India
MORADABAD, India, 8 June 2011 – For 14-year-old Paro, it’s a momentous day. She’s the proud leader of the ‘Bulawa Toli’, a group of children who run from house to house, lane to lane, blowing whistles and shouting slogans to herald the arrival of polio vaccinators in their community.
Second round of national campaign against polio targets millions in Democratic Republic of the Congo
KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 June 2011 – A month after the first round of National Immunization Days 2011, a new five-day Government vaccination drive – supported by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and multiple partners – has reached out to immunize more than 12 million children under the age of five.
Health week delivers support to millions of mothers and children in Pakistan
PUNJAB, Pakistan, 18 May 2011 – Mothers and children across Pakistan received a much-needed health boost recently, thanks to the nationwide bi-annual Mother and Child Health Week.
Polio immunization campaign aims to reach millions in Democratic Republic of the Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 9 May 2011 – Severine Nabintu, 35, brought her six-month old child to the launch two weeks ago of a national immunization campaign against polio in South Kivu province in DR Congo. “I’ve brought my child to vaccinate him and protect him from polio,” she said.
UNICEF supports a widespread immunization campaign in Occupied Palestinian Territory
EIN AL BEIDAH, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 3 May 2011 – The Ein Al Beidah clinic in northern West Bank was overcrowded as mothers rushed to get their children vaccinated during Regional Immunization Week.
UNICEF kicks off a post-crisis measles immunization campaign in Côte d’Ivoire
DUÉKOUÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 28 April 2011 – After four and a half months of conflict, Côte d’Ivoire is finally getting back on its feet with a renewed immunization drive.
Government of Japan gives new life to Zimbabwe immunization programme
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 20 April 2011 – Peter Manjoro straps his 11-month-old baby on his back and clutches his sons Ngoni, 5, and Takudzwa, 8, by the hand as they begin the 15-km journey to the nearest vaccination point. For this farm labourer, it is a journey he can afford to take only once year.
Despite security risks, health volunteers vaccinate children against polio in Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 8 April 2011 – During afternoon prayers, religious leader Abdul Wakil Mowlavzada speaks passionately to the men who have gathered at one of Jalalabad’s largest mosques. They listen intently as he talks about the importance of polio eradication.
GAVI supports a pneumococcal vaccination programme for Congolese children
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 April 2011 – Several hundred spectators gathered this week to witness the Democratic Republic of the Congo introduce a new pneumococcal vaccine to combat pneumonia into its national immunisation programme.
Angola steps up immunization drive in its efforts to eradicate polio
SAURIMO, Angola, 28 March 2011 – It’s not every day that your child gets vaccinated by your country’s vice president. That was the fate of Isabel Zita Motinha last Friday morning.
A new door-to-door strategy to eliminate polio in Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 16 March 2011 – Under the sweltering day’s heat in the capital city of Luanda, a novel approach to raising polio vaccination awareness is taking place.
UNICEF Executive Director focuses on ending polio and violence during DR Congo visit
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 March 2011 – “This vaccination will help my daughter to grown up strong and healthy,” said Aminata, a young Congolese mother. “It seems so simple and amazing.” Last week, while UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake was visiting Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo, Aminata brought her three-year-old daughter to be vaccinated against polio at the Burumba Health Centre there.
UNICEF steps up efforts to vaccinate displaced women and children in Côte D'Ivoire
TIÉBISSOU, Côte d’Ivoire, 3 March 2011 – Since last November’s disputed presidential election, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has deepened into an emergency.
Japan partners with UNICEF to help eradicate polio in Angola
TOKYO, Japan, 28 February 2011 – The Government of Japan has contributed approximately $4.7 million towards UNICEF’s efforts to eradicate polio in Angola.
Launch of pneumococcal vaccine initiative aims to protect thousands in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 February 2011 - The pneumococcal vaccine was launched this week by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki at a colourful ceremony in the nation’s capital of Nairobi. The free vaccine will be administered to all children under twelve months of age; protecting thousands of children across the country.
UNICEF supports emergency immunization drive to contain measles outbreak in Liberia
ZOELUAPA, Liberia, 10 February 2011 – Zoeluapa has no electricity, no sanitation and no health clinic. And now the town of 4,000, located at the heart of north-eastern Liberia's impoverished Nimba County, is also battling a measles outbreak. By the end of January, 100 measles cases and five deaths from the highly infectious disease had been reported here.
UNICEF Executive Director joins delegation to Angola, stressing commitment to end polio
LUANDA, Angola, 28 January 2011 – Luanda is a study in contrasts, with a busy port reflecting Angola’s status as one of Africa’s largest oil producers on the one hand and overcrowded shantytowns on the other. Many of those who live in the capital’s poorest areas lack access to safe water and sanitation, and live with the constant threat of disease.
Immunization campaign aims to keep Abkhazia region polio-free
ABKHAZIA, Georgia, 3 December 2010- UNICEF, the Abkhaz authorities and the European Union have left no stone unturned in their efforts to keep the region polio-free.
Second phase of polio immunization campaign carried out in DR Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 November 2010 – DR Congo took a major step toward eradicating polio this month with the second round of a mass immunization campaign targeting children under the age of five in nine provinces.
National campaign provides life-saving measles vaccinations in Ethiopia
DALE SISTRICT, Ethiopia, 11 November 2010 – This past October, Meaza Worga, 25, took her place in the bustling queue at the Dale District vaccination post in Moto village and waited patiently – if not a tad anxiously - to get her six-month-old baby Dagmawi Ayalew immunized against measles and polio.
UNICEF supports Mother and Child Health Week amidst crisis in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 8 November 2010 – Volatiana Rafaramalala sat in the community hall of Ankazotoho Anosimahavelona, a neighbourhood of nearly 11 000 people, on the outskirts of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.
UNICEF and partners respond to re-emergence of polio in DR Congo
KANANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 8 November 2010 – Kasai Occidental Province is the epicentre of a recent polio outbreak in the DR Congo, and the provincial capital Kananga is where a three-day immunization drive began at the end of October. Its aim: to reach more than 11 million children in 9 of the country’s 11 provinces.
Angola battles polio outbreak with massive immunization drive
LUANDA, Angola, 5 November 2010 – Little Georgina Luisa de Deus Nzongo smiles, pats her father’s cheek and chuckles like any other baby her age. But Georgina will not be able to run, ride a bike or engage in many other physical activities that her twin sister will enjoy as they grow up. Her legs are paralyzed for life.
Community volunteers promote polio immunization in India
MORADABAD, India, 22 October 2010 – Some 30 years ago, baby boy Zulfikar Ahmed became seriously ill during the communal riots in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Immunization campaign in Cameroon fights deadly neo-natal tetanus
BAFUT DISTRICT, Cameroon, 22 October 2010 – In the forests of northwest Cameroon, steep rutted dirt roads cling precariously to mountainsides, occasionally slipping into the ravines below. Distance here can’t be measured in mere kilometres, but in the effort it takes to get from one place to the next.
In Pakistan's Swat valley, health workers reach out to women and children already struggling
SWAT VALLEY, Pakistan, 28 September 2010 - The scenic Swat valley in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is facing a complex emergency situation. Since May 2009 military operations and conflict have ravaged the area and in July 2010 floods came, affecting some 3.8 million people in the province and devastating thousands.
In Rwanda, pneumonia vaccine fights top killer of children
NYAMATA, Rwanda, 27 September 2010 – It has been a little over a year since Rwanda introduced a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine known as PCV7. The vaccine protects children against one of the most common causes of pneumonia – with encouraging results.
Executive Board extends UNICEF partnership with Rotary International to eradicate polio
NEW YORK, USA, 9 September 2010 – Meeting at UN headquarters yesterday, the UNICEF Executive Board approved the extension of a global partnership with Rotary International that has helped the world move dramatically closer to eradicating the scourge of polio.
With free birth registration, Angola promotes a child's right to legal identity
CUNENE PROVINCE, Angola, 10 August 2010 – In a province of southern Angola where poverty is prevalent and literacy is low, mothers are learning the unexpected importance of a simple document – the birth certificate.
Vaccination campaign conducted in response to resurgence of measles in Zambia
LUSAKA, Zambia, 26 July 2010 – In the Matero neighbourhood here in the Zambian capital last week, three-year-old Kaseko led her Aunt Sarah by the hand to the health clinic. Once there, they joined the long queue of mothers and crying babies.
Kiwanis and UNICEF launch 'The Eliminate Project' on maternal and neonatal tetanus
NEW YORK, USA, 25 June 2010 – Kiwanis International has selected UNICEF to be its partner in a $110 million effort to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) globally by 2015.
Polio-eradication partners monitor life-saving immunization drive in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 22 June 2010 – The fourth round of a national immunization campaign against polio has just been completed in Tajikistan, targeting almost 3 million children under the age of 15.
Field diary: In Somalia's Boroma district, Child Health Days campaign is making strides
BOROMA DISTRICT, Somalia, 17 June 2010 – I arrive in Hayaayabo village early in the morning. This is one of the sites where the Child Health Days Campaign, supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, is being implemented.
Two drops for each child: Afghan polio campaign breaks with tradition to reach all
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 11 June 2010 – During a recent polio immunization campaign in north-eastern Afghanistan – organized in response to an outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Tajikistan – thousands of vaccination teams fanned out across the region in an effort to reach all children at risk.
UNICEF Deputy Regional Director helps launch a second round of polio vaccines in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 9 June 2010 – Following a major polio outbreak in Tajikistan –Europe’s first since the region was declared ‘polio free’ in 2002 – a committed global partnership is working hard to keep neighbouring Uzbekistan free of the disease.
Successful measles immunization campaign wraps up in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 8 June 2010 – Early one recent morning at Rutsanana Clinic in Glen Norah, Harare, hundreds of women were eagerly waiting outside the clinic to have their babies immunized.
Massive measles vaccination campaign under way in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 24 May 2010 – In Zimbabwe this week, a huge programme to vaccinate 5 million children against measles, dubbed the national Child Health Days initiative, is kicking off.
Social mobilizers throughout Haiti spread the word about vaccines
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 12 May 2010 – Haiti is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of the devastating 12 January earthquake, which claimed more than 200,000 lives, destroyed schools, homes, and water and sanitation systems, and left more than 1 million people homeless.
At St. Lucia match, India and Afghanistan team up to end polio
RODNEY BAY, St. Lucia, 10 May 2010 – For the first time ever, the cricket teams of India and Afghanistan recently came together, playing a match here in St. Lucia in solidarity against the scourge of polio.
In Tajikistan, immunization campaign battles new polio outbreak
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 6 May 2010 – A three-round immunization drive began last week in Tajikistan, in response to a polio outbreak that is threatening children across the country.
Vaccination Week of the Americas targets 44 countries, including Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 May 2010 – Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are wrapping up the annual Vaccination Week of the Americas, an initiative covering 44 countries and territories in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In Haiti alone, an estimated 60,000 children under the age of five were immunized last week.
In Senegal, innovative vaccine campaign reaches remote communities
Dakar, Senegal, 3 May 2010 – Across Senegal, UNICEF and its partners are working to vaccinate more than 2 million children under the age of five against polio. But with many of these children living with migratory families or in remote island villages, reaching them can prove difficult.
Afghanistan launches first-ever vaccination week, putting children first
KABUL, Afghanistan, 27 April 2010 – Many thousands of Afghan children can expect better health as the country launches its first-ever vaccination week.
Nigeria immunizes millions of children in a renewed effort to eradicate polio
LAGOS, Nigeria, 16 April 2010 – Nigeria recently joined 19 other countries in West and Central Africa in a synchronized campaign to immunize more than 85 million children under the age of five against polio.
Reaching mobile populations with polio vaccine in India
LUCKNOW, India, 14 April 2010 – A recent polio immunization campaign in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh succeeded in treating some of the most difficult to reach families in this area – mobile labourers.
Immunization drive aims to stop polio, once thought eradicated in Guinea
CONAKRY, Guinea, 26 March 2010 – Yeninka, 5, was born in a poor fishermen's neighbourhood in the suburbs of Conakry, the Guinean capital. She was healthy until a couple of months ago. Her father Soumah, a widowed fisherman, remembers what happened then.
UNICEF aims to immunize 85 million children against polio in West and Central Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 5 March 2010 – For children in West and Central Africa, the threat of the crippling disease polio, eradicated in much of the world, still looms.
Liberia's largest immunization campaign ever targets Yellow Fever
MONTSERRADO COUNTY, Liberia, 21 December 2009 – The largest immunization campaign ever conducted in Liberia took place last month, targeting over three million people, or 90 per cent of the population. The immunization was against Yellow Fever, a potentially lethal infection transmitted by mosquitoes.
Afghanistan is the first country worldwide to use bivalent oral polio vaccine
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 December 2009 – Sheila Noor, 18, is one of 21,000 health agents who were deployed by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health for a three-day immunization campaign using the bivalent polio vaccine this month.
United States and Organization of the Islamic Conference join forces against polio
NEW YORK, USA, 3 December 2009 – The United States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) resolved to work together to eradicate polio from the last remaining endemic countries. The launch of the joint initiative – a response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for such an effort in Cairo last June – was held yesterday at UNICEF Headquarters in New York.
Rwanda launches nationwide health and vaccination campaign
BISATE VILLAGE, Rwanda, 3 November 2009 – Bisate village is nestled in the lush valley at the foot of Mount Sabinyo – an extinct volcano that marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Gathered in a large playing field, hundreds of women dressed in colourful ‘kikoys’ of wrapped cloth are clutching rainbow-coloured umbrellas.
Vaccination campaign aimed at tsunami-affected children in Samoa
APIA, Samoa, 2 November 2009 – UNICEF and the World Health Organization are giving full support to a nationwide measles and vitamin A immunization campaign by the Samoan Government. The campaign aims to protect more than 32,000 children in the wake of the recent tsunami here.
Polio vaccination effort reaches children in Pakistan
GADAP TOWN, Pakistan, 29 October 2009 – As part of a national immunization campaign, Ruksana Bilqis has been working for the past two months as a polio community mobilizer in Gadap Town, a community of conservative Pashtu speakers from North-West Frontier Province and the tribal areas near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
State of the World’s Vaccines: Childhood immunization at record high
NEW YORK, USA, 21 October 2009 – More babies are being immunized against deadly diseases than ever before, yet without better funding and improved access, at least 24 million infants are left unprotected.
Angélique Kidjo launches new campaign with Pampers to help eliminate tetanus
PARIS, France, 28 September 2009 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Grammy-winning world music artist Angélique Kidjo has launched ‘Give the Gift of Life’, a new campaign with Pampers to help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) by 2012.
Eradicating polio in Afghanistan takes persuasion, participation and peace
GHOR, Afghanistan, 17 September 2009 – A three-day polio eradication campaign, organized by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, reached children across Afghanistan this month. The immunization drive was part of the ongoing effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan, which is one of just four remaining polio-endemic countries.
International Child Neurology Congress affirms vaccination safety in Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine, 16 September 2009 – UNICEF was among this year’s sponsors of the International Child Neurology Congress, held in Ukraine for the first time last week.
One more young life saved from polio in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 28 July 2009—“It doesn’t hurt at all,” says Mahamad, 5, smiling broadly. The boy lives in Kabul and is used to vaccinators visiting his house. This particular visit is happening on the first day of a three-day, nationwide polio vaccination campaign – the fourth of six such immunization rounds planned for this year.
Immunization campaign works to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in Mauritania
OUALATA, Mauritania, 24 June 2009 – When the school’s headmaster announced the arrival of the tetanus vaccination team, Lalla Vatma, 14, and several of her schoolmates, were excused from class.
Outreach vaccination in Zimbabwe during Child Health Days.
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 18 June 2009 – UNICEF recently supported a successful round of outreach vaccinations during 'Child Health Days'. The intensive five-day campaign reached even the most remote communities in Zimbabwe.
Teaming up to fight polio with Niger and Nigeria's synchronized immunization
MARADI, Niger, 5 June 2009 – Aboubacar Sidikou used to be an active two-year-old, running after goats in the courtyard or playing hide-and-seek all day long with his brothers. Now, the once enthusiastic boy has now become very shy. He rests in the arms of his grandmother and suddenly does not pay attention to anyone anymore.
A shot to live: Meningitis immunization in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 8 May 2009 – Ahmad’s father smiles sadly while he tries to make his little boy stand still so that the nurse can give him a dose of trivalent meningitis vaccine.
Health workers aim to vaccinate 30 million in the Americas
MARISCAL ESTIGARRIBIA, Paraguay, 5 May 2009 – A massive effort is under way to vaccinate 30 million people in 44 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere.
Improving care for mothers and newborns in Uzbekistan
FERGHANA, Uzbekistan, 4 May 2009 – Maftuna Yakubova beams with pride over her newborn baby boy in the maternity ward of the Perinatal Centre in Ferghana, eastern Uzbekistan.
Togo youth media activists unite to help eradicate polio
SEGBE, Togo, 7 April 2009 – While Aristos, 16, prepared the camera focus, Marie, 14, plugged in the microphone, Gisèle, 13, checked the sound level and Elvis, 11, put the finishing touches on his introduction to the story of Togo’s recent national polio immunization campaign.
Window closing on chance to push polio ‘The Final Inch’ towards eradication
NEW YORK, 3 April 2009 – More than 50 years after the discovery of the first safe and effective polio vaccine, the window is closing on the chance to eradicate the disease for good.
Somali Child Health Days go nationwide for the first time
WAJID, Southern Somalia, 1 April 2009 – For the first time ever in Somalia, a Child Health Days campaign has been implemented nation-wide by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, local authorities, communities and non-governmental partners.
UNICEF and GAVI provide immunization to Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 31 March 2009 – On the dusty streets of a Freetown suburb, a crowd slowly shuffles along to find work. There is silence. Everyone here struggles to keep going. Poverty is the norm.
Historic pneumococcal vaccine shipment arrives in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda, 27 March 2009 – Last week, a historic shipment of vaccines arrived at the Kigali Airport in Rwanda. Donated by Wyeth Corporation, these vaccines help protect infants and young children from pneumococcal disease – the leading vaccine-preventable cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.
Togo completes first immunization round in regional push against polio
VOGAN, Togo, 9 March 2009 – Beneath a blazing sun, mothers Akuba and Afi are pounding manioc in the yard of their compound when two health workers from the Expanded Programme of Immunization arrive.
Reaching the remote villages of Niger with polio vaccine
GARBEY KOUROU, Niger, 6 March 2009 – On the eve of an eight-country polio vaccination campaign held over the past week in West Africa, Ali Boureima, the immunization coordinator for Tillabery health district in Niger, distributed the last batch of oral polio vaccines for nine villages situated on islands in the Niger River.
Benin completes first round of National Immunization Days against polio
COTONOU, Benin, 5 March 2009 – About 2.7 million children under the age of five are to be vaccinated in Benin during two rounds of National Immunization Days (NIDs) this year. Benin, like several neighbouring countries, is witnessing a resurgence of wild poliovirus.
UNICEF and partners mobilize to eradicate polio in Côte d’Ivoire
ADIAKE, Cote d’Ivoire, 3 March 2009 – UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Rotary International called for renewed mobilization to eradicate polio in Côte d’Ivoire last week, as they launched the first round of a new immunization campaign in Adiaké.
Communities in West Africa prepare for extensive polio vaccination campaign
ZINDER REGION, Niger, 27 February 2009 – In Niger, traditional and religious leaders are at the forefront of communication efforts in the run-up to a synchronized polio vaccination campaign that begins today in West Africa.
Campaign fights infectious diseases in the wake of Gaza's long crisis
EAST JERUSALEM, 25 February 2009 – A fragile peace is holding in Gaza since hostilities ended last month. But damage to vital infrastructure is widespread, and primary health care services have been reduced by 90 per cent.
At General Assembly event, a call for equity and action on development goals
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2008 – On the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly session yesterday, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said there is a long way to go to reach the Millennium Development Goals by their 2015 target date. And the challenges are greatest in countries dealing with conflict and post-conflict situations, as well as those most affected by HIV/AIDS.
Angola launches third national de-worming campaign in schools
LUANDA, Angola, 24 September 2008 – Over the next month, primary school children in all of Angola’s 18 provinces will receive deworming tablets as part of a national deworming campaign, now in its third year. The campaign aims to ensure that the country’s children have better health for better learning.
For Peace Day, Afghan children get a chance to be immunized
NANGAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 22 September 2008 – Afghan and international forces, including the Taliban, have been asked to lay down their weapons in support of the biggest Peace Day that Afghanistan has ever experienced.
As child deaths continue to decline, UNICEF calls for increased efforts
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2008 – Fewer children under the age of five are dying today than in past years, according to the latest data from UNICEF. Globally, the number of young children who died in 2007 dropped to 9.2 million, compared to 12.7 million deaths in 1990.
GAVI works to reduce the number of preventable child deaths in Tanzania
MOROGORO, Tanzania 17 April 2008 – Like all hospitals and health facilities in Tanzania, Morogoro Regional Hospital offers free routine immunization to all children under the age of five.
Immunization campaigns reach out to Syria’s vulnerable children
QARAHTA, Syria, 18 March 2008 – Barely 10 months old, Sundus has her mother Aida’s eyes: dark brown, with a hint of turquoise at their centres. Sitting on her mother’s lap, Sundus looks peaceful amidst the bustle of an immunization point in Qarahta, 20 km from the capital, Damascus.
An aggressive push to eradicate measles in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 5 February 2008 – Last month, 18-month-old Mariem received an inoculation that will provide her with lifetime immunity against a disease which has already killed many children in Mauritania – measles.
A polio survivor dedicates her life to helping children get vaccinated
HARGEISA, Somalia, 25 January 2007 – When she was seven-years-old, Nora woke up feeling as if she had a cold. By the following morning, she was plagued with crippling pain and unable to walk. Now, as an adult, Nora must live with the devastating effects of contracting polio.
National measles campaign targets 2.9 million children in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 7 January 2008 – Ansoumane, 16 months old, shut his eyes tightly and clenched his little fists as he received a jab in the arm to rousing applause, under the gaze of Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja.
Child-survival campaign reaches families displaced by conflict in Mogadishu
AFGOYE, Somalia, 18 December 2007 – Hawa Ali, a mother of two, fled fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last month and found refuge in the makeshift Eelasha Biyasha settlement here. This camp and others like it, along a 30-km stretch between Mogadishu and Afgoye, are now home to some 200,000 children, women and men displaced by conflict.
Cricketers help immunize children against polio in New Delhi
NEW DELHI, India, 10 December 2007 – Children in India are being immunized as part of an ongoing regional polio eradication campaign called Bowl Out Polio. Recently in New Dehli, children received a welcome surprise as top players from India and Pakistan’s cricket teams joined with health workers to bring attention to the campaign.
Zimbabwe’s Child Health Days help to reduce measles and boost child survival
MUPANDAWANA, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2007 – One can still see the legacy of polio in the limping walks of a handful of villagers in Mupandawana, a small community with a population of just 300.
Myanmar mobilizes to protect 7 million children against polio
SHAN STATE, Myanmar, 23 November 2007 – Midwife Daw Kyin Nu is braving the cold rain in the hilly regions of Shan State, Myanmar, as she goes house to house to vaccinate children under the age of five against polio.
Nationwide push in Lao PDR to eliminate measles
HOUAY NAMIEN, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 16 November 2007 – Mid-morning on a Tuesday isn’t normally a time that you expect to see much activity in a Buddhist temple. But a recent Tuesday was different, and the brightly coloured temple in Houay Namien was thronged with mothers and young children.
Despite political tensions, Nepal vitamin A campaign garners wide support
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 7 November 2007 – In a unique show of support for children’s rights, Nepalese political parties that have been locked in bitter infighting put aside their differences for two days last week to support the national distribution of vitamin A capsules and de-worming tablets.
National polio drive delivers drops of hope amid insecurity in Iraq
AMMAN, Jordan, 28 September 2007 – As Iraq’s first National Immunization Days of 2007 get under way, over 20,000 mobile polio vaccinators are uniting in a titanic effort to reach as many as 5 million Iraqi children under the age of five.
International Day of Peace marked with polio vaccination drive in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 20 September 2007 – Warring factions in Afghanistan have promised to honour the International Day of Peace on 21 September by supporting peace so that 1.3 million children can be vaccinated against polio.
Going the extra mile: UNICEF Indonesia immunization drive reaches remote areas
HARATAI VILLAGE, Indonesia, 24 August 2007 – It’s just after dawn and Riniyati is getting her 11-month-old baby girl Tresia ready for the day. She softly tells Tresia that today is special. Today she will go to the village longhouse to be immunized.
Meeting of Global Health Leaders: Stronger collaboration, improved outcomes
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2007 – Global health leaders from eight international organizations met here on 19 July to discuss ways to strengthen their collaboration, in order to achieve better health outcomes in developing countries.
In Zimbabwe, Child Health Days focus on polio immunization
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 28 June 2007 – On cue, the mothers clutch their babies and fall in with military precision. Vaccine cold boxes are lined up in the shade alongside them. Within a few minutes, a classroom has been transformed into an outreach immunization point for Zimbabwe’s biannual Child Health Days campaign.
First-ever synchronized polio campaign between Namibia, Angola and DR Congo
ONDANGWA, Namibia, 28 June 2007 – When the gates at the border crossing on the Angola-Namibia border open, it's more than trade that can go rushing through. Polio and other diseases need no passports.
Providing basic services to Gabon’s ‘people of the forest’
ESSENG, Gabon, 9 May 2007 – On a beautiful recent morning in this remote village in northern Gabon, men sat in the ‘corps de garde’ in the town square and women stood nearby with apprehensive but happy children running around them.
‘Days of Peace’ promote child survival and development in Philippines conflict areas
NEW YORK, USA, 9 May 2007 – For decades, an often violent battle between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has raged in the picturesque countryside of the southern Philippines. The conflict has devastated thousands of villages, leaving children without access to essential services.
Despite dangers, measles vaccinators fan out across Iraq
AMMAN, Jordan, 26 April 2007 – In one of the biggest humanitarian operations in Iraq in the last two years, 8,000 vaccinators are working to prevent a possible outbreak of measles among children, many of whom have not received routine immunization due to violence and conflict.
Polio immunization drive reaches children in Koranic schools of northern Nigeria
ZARIA, Nigeria, 23 April 2007 – Every Saturday, Asiya, 5, helps her mother with household chores. After sweeping floors and washing clothes, she leaves home to attend Koranic school in her neighbourhood.
Trio for Life: Birth registration, immunization and breastfeeding give children head start in Venezuela
MARACAIBO, Venezuela, 4 April 2007 – It was during the nationwide campaign called Trio for Life that eight-month-old Georgina first received her birth registration.
Six million children in DPR Korea immunized against measles
SOUTH HAMYONG, DPR Korea, 29 March 2007 – A massive campaign to immunize children against measles in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been completed by the government with help from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Reinforcing links in the cold-chain to preserve vaccines in Turkmenistan
ABADAN, Turkmenistan, 16 March 2007 – The immunization programme in Turkmenistan is being overhauled, with responsibility for maintaining the ‘cold chain’ – which preserves vaccines and keeps them safe for children – shifting from the vaccinators themselves to maintenance professionals.
Children take the lead in northern Nigeria’s immunization drive
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 5 March 2007 – Heading to school last week in northern Katsina State, Imrana Musa, 10, had no idea what a special mission he was going to be sent on.
Fight against polio in Nigeria focuses on community involvement
ILELA, Nigeria, 26 February 2007 – Though wrinkled and bent with age, Kabo Galdi has hands that are surprisingly steady as she drops oral polio vaccine into the mouths of children. The grandmother of six was one of the roving vaccinators mobilized for Nigeria’s ‘Immunization Plus Days’ last month.
Immunization drive for flood-affected children in Jakarta, Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 February 2007 – Upon hearing that a free immunization drive was under way, Linda, 27, a mother of two, did not think twice before bringing her young daughters to an emergency health centre in central Jakarta.
Palestinian child health still faces challenges, despite end of strike at clinics
HEBRON, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 6 February 2007 – Government clinics have resumed routine services following a recent three-month health workers’ strike that began after clinic staff members had not been paid their full salaries for over 10 months.
Liberia measles drive targets 650,000 children under five
SAKONNEDU, Liberia, 23 January 2007 – Across Liberia yesterday, a massive logistics operation went into high gear to protect 650,000 children under the age of five from measles.
Measles deaths decreased by more than half
NEW YORK, USA, 18 January 2007 - There has been an unprecedented decline in the number of child deaths from measles, thanks to a worldwide initiative to combat the disease, the Measles Initiative partnership announced today.
Samira’s story: Despite dangers, vaccinators fight to keep Iraq polio-free
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 15 December 2006 – Iraq’s fourth national polio campaign of 2006 is sending thousands of Iraqi vaccinators from house to house, to immunize children at their doorsteps.
Measles and malaria campaign in Sierra Leone reaches 800,000-plus
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 28 November 2006 – A national measles and malaria campaign has been successfully carried out in Sierra Leone. An estimated 800,000 children under five have benefited from life-saving interventions during this major nationwide health initiative.
Tennis ace Serena Williams supports Ghana’s biggest health campaign
NUNGUA-ZONGO, Ghana, 6 November 2006 – For families across Ghana, yesterday was the day to get their young children immunized against deadly childhood diseases, boost their immunity against illness and receive free mosquito nets to help prevent malaria. It was the conclusion of the country’s week-long national integrated child health campaign, the largest such effort in Ghana to date.
Polio immunization campaign supports recovery in post-war Lebanon
BENT JBAIL, Lebanon, 31 October 2006 – In another key step towards recovery in post-war Lebanon, the first round of an emergency polio immunization campaign began yesterday, targeting all children up to five years of age.
Measles immunization campaign targets 29 million Nigerian children
EKEREMOR, Nigeria, 18 October 2006 – Nigeria has launched a massive immunization campaign to protect 29 million children against measles, a highly contagious virus that kills more Nigerian children than any other preventable disease.
Fighting measles and raising awareness in Indonesia
KUPANG, Indonesia, 2 October 2006 – For the first time in several days, Juwita is feeling well enough to help her mother prepare lunch. The nine-year-old grins as she slices vegetables in the kitchen, happy to be rid of the rash and high fever that came with the measles virus that recently plagued her.
Immunization campaign in Afghanistan aims to reduce child and maternal deaths
NEW YORK, USA, Afghanistan, 12 September 2006 – An immunization campaign supported by UNICEF was launched recently in Afghanistan with two objectives: to reduce child measles mortality by 90 per cent and to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Two successful rounds of vaccination protect Namibia from polio
WINDHOEK, CAPRIVI AND OMAHEKE REGIONS, Namibia, 7 August 2006 – With all the many thousands of pieces of Namibia’s emergency polio campaign melding together, the final picture emerging from the effort is that of a finely tuned mosaic of success.
Vitamin A health campaign targets Zimbabwean children under five
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 27 July 2006 – To rousing applause Irene Mwedziwendira steps forward with her twins at a demonstration on the benefits of taking vitamin A. At just under 160cm, she is not a tall woman, and her strides are small. But their meaning is massive. She is a member of one of Zimbabwe’s largest religious sects – the Apostolic – which bans immunization for children. Mrs. Mwedziwendira’s steps are nothing less than a leap of faith.
Immunization campaign aims to eliminate tetanus in Madagascar
MIANDRIVAZO, Madagascar, 20 July 2006 – Dr. Mamy and Sister Henriette have walked 5 km under the sun to reach a small village in Miandravazo, southeast Madagascar. Their team of health workers is here with vaccinations to protect mothers like Maximillian, 24, against tetanus.
Nationwide polio immunization drive under way after recent outbreak in Namibia
KATUTURA TOWNSHIP, Namibia, 22 June 2006 – It was 4 p.m. at Okuryangava Health Clinic in Katutura Township, a community on the outer edge of the capital city of Windhoek, and the nursing sister leading the polio immunization team had the dazed, weary and yet immensely satisfied look of someone who had just won an extremely hard race.
Tetanus jabs for 686,000 primary school children in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya, 21 June 2006 – Amina Abdi, 7, a student at Ganjoni Primary School in Mombasa, Kenya, shut her eyes tightly and clenched her little fists as she received her jab.
In Thailand, survey reveals gulf in living standards between ethnic groups
RATCHABURI, Thailand, 1 JUNE 2006 – “Has your child taken a poo today?” “Yes, behind the house, but the dogs have eaten it all.”
UNICEF responds as polio outbreak in Namibia claims more victims
NEW YORK, USA, 7 June 2006 – After a 10-year absence, Namibia has witnessed a sudden reappearance of polio, with 34 suspected cases and 7 deaths recorded so far. The recent outbreak of wild poliovirus has been confirmed in 5 of the country’s 13 regions, but most cases have occurred in and around the capital, Windhoek.
In Madagascar, a small capsule of vitamin A saves children’s lives
FENERIVE EST, Madagascar, 23 May 2006 – It may seem like a routine event, but twice a year in Madagascar, children under the age of five receive a small capsule of vitamin A.
Emergency measles campaign aims to immunize 5.5 million children in Kenya
GARISSA / NAIROBI, Kenya, 9 May 2006 – More than half a million vulnerable children under the age of five have been immunized against measles and polio in the first phase of a life-saving vaccination campaign in Kenya’s Central and North Eastern Provinces.
Putting children first: Nepal’s national vitamin A campaign proceeds despite unrest
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 19 April 2006 – Despite the escalating political turmoil that has hit Nepal in recent weeks, a national distribution of vitamin A capsules and de-worming tablets started today. About 3.3 million Nepalese children, ranging in age from six months to five years, are expected to receive vitamin A capsules as part of the two-day nationwide campaign to protect children’s health by boosting their immune systems.
Bangladesh launches mass immunization campaign after polio re-emerges
CHANDPUR, Bangladesh, 13 April 2006 – After a five-year absence, polio has re-emerged in Bangladesh, sending a fresh alert and boosting eradication efforts across the country. But the national initiative to stop the crippling waterborne disease came too late for nine-year-old Rahima Akhter in the town of Chandpur.
Immunization and health campaign protects drought-affected children in southern Ethiopia
BORENA ZONE, Ethiopia, 4 April 2006 – Chachu Guyyo, a thin and energetic 74-year-old, was making slow progress with her four grandchildren towards the health post. They had been waiting in a queue for hours, along with 40 other women and children, to receive the medicines and vaccines being dispensed.
By land and sea, vaccinators reach 40 million in Nigerian polio immunization drive
LAGOS, Nigeria, 21 March, 2006 – Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa, with the world’s highest number of reported cases in 2005. Now the National Programme on Immunization (NPI), supported by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other partners, aims to immunize every child in Nigeria against polio.
After contracting polio, a boy struggles to walk again
MARADI, Niger, 10 March 2006 – Four-year-old Sanoussi was healthy and active, until one day he suddenly couldn’t move his legs anymore.
Bangladesh prepares to conduct the world’s largest-ever measles immunization campaign
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 17 February 2006 – Some 33.5 million Bangladeshi children are the target of the world’s largest-ever measles immunization campaign. The government – with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners – is preparing supplies, health workers, volunteers and the public for the start of this unprecedented three-week campaign, which begins on 25 February.
On the beaches of São Tomé , danger in the water
PRAIA LOCHINGA, Sao Tome and Príncipe, 6 February 2006 – Jordiney’s mother Gimé said her young son felt fine in the morning.
Egypt is now polio-free
CAIRO, Egypt, 1 February 2006 – Polio and Egypt go back a long way. Archaeological evidence suggests that children living along the banks of the river Nile were being disabled by the disease even in pharaonic times. That’s one reason why today’s announcement – that Egypt has been declared polio-free – is such a landmark.
Nigeria completes Africa’s largest-ever measles campaign
NEW YORK, USA, 14 December 2005 – The Government of Nigeria has just completed Africa’s largest-ever measles campaign in an effort to reduce measles deaths and morbidity.
Dedication is paying off for Sierra Leone’s polio programmes
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 12 December 2005 – Sierra Leone is within reach of meeting its goal of being certified polio free, having just completed the final round of immunizations for this calendar year.
Tackling polio in Liberia
MONROVIA, Liberia, 8 December 2005 – The final push in this year’s battle to eradicate polio in Africa begins on 9 December with the fourth round of National Immunization Days (NIDs). These campaigns have been synchronized across up to 23 African countries polio in the course of 2005.
Vaccines key to saving children's lives
NEW DELHI, India, 7-8 December 2005 – The world’s foremost experts in public health, vaccine manufacturers and policy makers have gathered in New Delhi 7-8 December for the 3rd Partners' Meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI.
Saving lives in Nepal through vitamin A distribution
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 29 November 2005 – Moti Bhandari looks into the mirror and adds the finishing touches to her make-up: a big red mark with the logo of a vitamin A campaign on her forehead. She then slings her green cloth bag with the same logo across her shoulders, calls out to her 9-year-old daughter Sarita to mind the store, and heads for the vitamin A distribution centre with her 2-year-old son in tow.
Immunization campaign protects half a million children from preventable diseases
CHINARI, Pakistan, 22 November 2005 – As winter approaches, poor hygiene conditions and the possible outbreak of disease are threatening the lives of tens of thousands quake survivors in Pakistan’s relief camps.
UNICEF-supported campaign protects 1.5 million people from malaria
ANTSIRANANA, Madagascar, 16 November 2005 – Malaria is the biggest killer of children in Madagascar. Every day some 160 children die from preventable diseases in the country, and more than a quarter of those are from malaria.
Polio stopped again in 10 African countries as major immunization campaigns launch
NEW YORK, USA, 11 November 2005 – Twenty-eight African countries are launching synchronized polio immunization campaigns today in a concerted effort to help drive the virus out of the continent forever. Meanwhile public health officials have confirmed that a polio epidemic which recently flared in 10 African countries has been successfully stopped, as a result of similar campaigns earlier this year.
UN Foundation commits $20 million to eradicate measles worldwide
NEW YORK, 2 November 2005 – UN Foundation Chairman Ted Turner has announced a new commitment of $20 million to the Measles Initiative, an effort supported by UNICEF and partners to eradicate measles worldwide. UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman welcomed the move, saying, “It's a major vote of confidence in the effectiveness of this partnership.”
Immunization campaign seeks to prevent resurgence of polio in the Philippines
TAWI-TAWI, Philippines, 13 October 2005 – The Philippines has been polio-free since 2000, and the country is going to great lengths to keep it that way, especially now that more than 200 children have contracted the disease in neighbouring Indonesia.
Vaccine is key to preventing outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis
NEW YORK, 5 October 2005 – In the crowded children’s ward of a hospital in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Kumar desperately tries to revive his son Sagar, who is very sick. Doctors watch, knowing they have already done what they can to help the young boy, whose father brought him here after a three-day journey by oxcart.
Fight continues against polio outbreak in Indonesia
GIRIJAYA, Indonesia, 29 September 2005 – In this verdant mountain village, high in the hills of west Java, two-year-old Fikri must now learn to walk for the second time in his life. But he now stumbles with braces strapped to his legs.
Public information plays key role in Bangladesh measles campaign
SARIAKANDI, Bangladesh, 22 September 2005 – This sleepy outback community by the banks of the Brahmaputra River is located about 200 km from the national capital, Dhaka. Sariakandi’s people are accustomed to dealing with problems: erosion, floods, poverty and unemployment.
Responding to new cases, polio immunization campaign launched in southern Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, 20 September 2005 – In response to the detection of three cases of polio in southern Madagascar, the Ministry of Health has launched a campaign to immunize some 650,000 children in Tulear province. The campaign is running through October.
Polio immunization campaign to protect 20 million children in India
DEOGARH, India, 20 September 2005 – Beginning on Sunday, nearly 100,000 vaccinators will immunize more than 20 million children against polio in Bihar state – one of two states in India where polio remains endemic.
Mozambique holds its largest ever immunization campaign
LIONDE, Gaza Province, Mozambique, 8 September 2005 – From dusty rural villages to exotic tourist towns, the sounds of children screaming in shock after a short jab from a needle, echoed through Mozambique this week as more than two million children lined up in the biggest ever mass immunization campaign in the country.
Funds for immunization will save lives
NEW YORK, 9 September 2005 – Nearly 30 million children go without immunization each year. But today a new plan of action may help ensure these children get the vaccines they need.
Public information and immunization go hand-in hand in massive Indonesia polio campaign
JAKARTA, 30 August 2005 – A group of Indonesian mothers wearing brilliantly-coloured headscarves are gathered in the small meeting room of the local ‘Puskesmas’ (community health centre), where they come to learn about nutrition, immunization and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding. The children are outside, playing in the warm afternoon – unaware that just a few miles away, polio has struck eight of their peers and paralyzed them forever.
Immunization: Reaching children by rail
INDIA, June 6, 2005 – The search for unvaccinated children in India has taken UNICEF to bus stations, railway platforms and busy street corners. Now children are receiving polio vaccinations on passenger trains as they speed across the plains of the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In mid-May, on just one route, nearly 8,000 children under five years received vaccinations during a five-day immunization drive – over 1,500 on the first day alone.
Yemen: Nationwide immunization campaign seeks to stop polio outbreak
SANA’A, Yemen, 2 June 2005 – The Government of Yemen has organized a nationwide immunization campaign, seeking to reach 5 million children, in order to halt a recent polio outbreak.
Indonesia: Massive campaign to stop a polio outbreak
JAKARTA, 1 June 2005 – A massive polio immunization campaign has begun on the island of Java, Indonesia, aiming to protect more than 6.4 million children from the crippling disease.
African immunization campaign strikes back against global polio epidemic
NEW YORK, 13 May 2005 – Striking at the heart of a global polio epidemic, a door-to-door immunization campaign kicks off on 14 May, aiming to reach the most vulnerable children in the poorest communities across Africa.
Occupied Palestinian territory: Massive campaign to protect children from mumps
WEST BANK, oPt, 10 May 2005 - Saddam, an 11-year old boy, awoke on Tuesday morning as usual, ready for school. However, it was not a normal day for Saddam. He felt pain and swelling in his neck, and was feverish. Saddam instantly informed his mother, Safiyyeh, who advised him to go to school and seek the advice of the school principal.
Indonesia fights polio outbreak
WEST JAVA, Indonesia, 6 May 2005 – The Indonesian Health Ministry today confirmed that another child has been paralysed by polio, bringing the total to five so far in the current outbreak. Officials have informed UNICEF that a further nine suspected polio cases are being investigated.
Anti-malarial bednet programme succeeds in Tanzania
KIBAHA, Tanzania, 3 May 2005 – In hospitals all across Kibaha District, women have been given access to subsidized bednets designed to protect them and their children against malaria.
Nigeria’s polio immunisation campaign takes off
LAGOS, Nigeria, 18 April 2005 – Nigeria has just completed the second round of its Polio National Immunisation Days for 2005. For the first time ever, vaccination teams were dispatched to the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International and Domestic airports in an effort to immunise children under five against polio. Nigeria hopes to reach 40 million children in this latest vaccination campaign.
Kicking polio out of Liberia
TUBMANBURG, Liberia, 15 April 2005 – Peace has finally returned to this West African nation, and a vitally important peace dividend is reaching every corner of the county: the protection of all children from polio.
50th Anniversary of the Salk polio vaccine
NEW YORK, 12 April 2005 – Fifty years to the day since Dr. Jonas Salk and his team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh had their polio vaccine approved, the world is on the cusp of eliminating the virus for good. At its peak, poliomeylitis paralyzed and killed up to half a million people a year. In 2004, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 1263 cases worldwide.
Côte d’Ivoire: Second round of massive polio drive seeks to reach every child
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 12 April 2005 – On a vast lagoon outside this capital city, once known as the Paris of Africa, two wooden boats packed with people meet for a few moments – just long enough for several babies to be passed from one boat to the other.
Young women in one of the boats, clad in orange life jackets, drop some liquid into each small mouth.
Africa polio campaign at critical stage
NEW YORK, 8 April 2005 – The critical second stage of the mass immunization campaign to stop the spread of polio across Africa is now underway. A total of 23 countries are taking part in the drive to immunize 100 million children across the continent, as the epidemic continues.
Partnership with Bank releases millions of dollars for children
NEW YORK, 1 April 2005 - UNICEF has reached a partnership agreement with the African Development Bank that could open the door to millions of dollars of financial support for children.
African music shines spotlight on malaria
DAKAR, Senegal, 11 March 2005 - Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds in Africa. Grammy-winning Senegalese musician and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N’Dour warned journalists of the daily tragedy that Africa faces due to malaria.
UNICEF and WHO join forces to ensure proper vaccine management
NEW YORK, 8 March 2005 - Vaccines protect three-quarters of the world’s children against childhood diseases every year. If they are not properly stored and handled, there is a risk that they will lose their potency or, worse, be rendered entirely useless.
Measles deaths plummet
NEW YORK, 4 March 2005 - The number of children dying from measles around the world has been slashed by an estimated 39 percent since 1999. Africa, the region with the highest measles mortality rates, also saw the greatest progress, decreasing their numbers by almost 50 per cent.
Vaccinators strive to ‘reach the unreachable’ in Liberia’s polio campaign
NEW YORK, 4 March 2005 - Liberia has completed the first of four rounds of polio vaccinations this year, designed to reach all children under the age of five. This effort is part of a massive polio immunization drive involving 23 countries across the African continent. The aim is to reach a hundred million children and drive polio out of Africa for good.
Polio vaccine reaches 5 million children
KABUL, 27 February 2005 – A three-day polio immunization campaign in Afghanistan has succeeded in vaccinating an estimated 5.3 million children under the age of five.
Life-saving immunization drive launches in DR Congo
NEW YORK, 28 February 2005 - A UNICEF supported immunization drive, which begins officially in March will send vaccinators into villages across the Democratic Republic of the Congo to immunize children against a host of childhood diseases.
Building up immunization one dose at a time in southern Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 22 February 2005 – Lialuma, a 26-year-old mother of six children, sits quietly holding her pale baby in her arms at the Out Patient Department Centre in Kandahar City, southern Afghanistan. “I’m afraid that he can’t be saved. I’ve already bought a piece of white cloth for his funeral. I’ve taken him to three doctors, but he is not getting better. This is the second child I’m going to lose,” says a desperate Lialuma.
Polio drive seeks to vaccinate 100 million children in Africa
As part of a massive polio immunization drive across Africa, more than a million health workers will be travelling, by land, sea and air, house to house through 22 countries, to vaccinate roughly 100 million children.
Nationwide immunization success in Georgia
NEW YORK, 17 January 2005 – Since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has been struggling to modernize. A decade of civil unrest and economic upheaval caused the public health system to collapse and the number of children immunized against preventable diseases dropped to just 30 per cent.
Vaccination campaign focuses on tackling social resistance to vaccine
UTTAR PRADESH, India, 6 January 2005 - With its density of population, areas of severe poverty and varied cultures, western Uttar Pradesh is where the campaign to eradicate polio is at greatest risk of failure.
Vital second round of anti-polio immunizations begins in Africa’s largest ever health campaign
NEW YORK, 18 November 2004 – A massive cross-border campaign to immunize children against polio is starting this week in Africa. From 20 to 23 November, thousands of volunteers and health workers will go door-to-door in 24 African countries to administer a second round of vaccinations in Africa’s largest ever public health initiative.
Largest-ever health campaign fights polio in Africa
NEW YORK, 19 October 2004 – More than one million vaccinators and volunteers are going door-to-door in sub-Saharan Africa with one aim: to stop a polio epidemic from killing millions of children.
Africa polio campaign 2004: How polio haunts Africa – and how Africans are fighting back
DAKAR, Senegal, 7 OCTOBER 2004 – Defeating polio takes more than money and vaccines. It needs understanding – from parents, government officials and community leaders – that having children immunized against this crippling disease is necessary, safe and good.