Ethiopia

Japan donation protects flood-affected children from malaria and polio

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Ethiopia/2006/Getachew
Fifteen million children in flood-stricken Ethiopia will be vaccinated against polio in two rounds of immunization in November and December.

ADDIS ABABA, 29 August 2006 – UNICEF has received $4.7 from the Government of Japan for malaria control and polio eradication in Ethiopia.

“This contribution is particularly timely as we brace ourselves for possible outbreaks of malaria in flood-affected areas,” says UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia Björn Ljungqvist.

Pools of water remaining after the floods create ideal breeding grounds for malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Averting potential malaria outbreaks, particularly in flood-affected areas, is an immediate priority. Stagnant waters also contribute to poor sanitation and can result in outbreaks of disease, adding to mortality rates.

“As a result of our work with the Government of Ethiopia in the Roll Back Malaria Campaign, and with the generous support of donors like the Government of Japan,” says Mr. Ljungqvist, “we have been able to respond to flood-related emergency needs for insecticide-treated nets in South Omo region by tapping into pre-positioned supplies.”

Thirty thousand insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), a proven malaria prevention mechanism, are now being dispatched to the flood-affected communities of South Omo.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Ethiopia/2006/Getachew
Thousands of insecticide treated nets like this one are being sent to flood-hit areas of Ethiopia where malaria is a threat.

Reducing malaria deaths

Ethiopia has among the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality and under-five child mortality. The Japanese Government’s contribution, made on 24 August, should help the country reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving under-five mortality rates by 2015 through a two-thirds’ reduction in malaria deaths.

The contribution will support the Ethiopian Government’s goal of universal coverage with insecticide-treated nets among 50 million people affected by malaria by 2007. This is the largest anti-malaria programme in Ethiopia's history and one of the largest in the world.

The funds from Japan will pay for 300,000 ITNs, bringing malaria protection to nearly 1 million people.

Polio immunization campaigns

Some $2.5 million of the $4.7 million contribution will also be used to help wipe out polio in Ethiopia. Two national rounds of supplemental polio immunization are planned for November and December 2006. About 15 million children are expected to benefit from each round.

Polio immunization campaigns will continue in 2007 and 2008 as part of the massive effort to contain the advance of polio in Ethiopia following the cross-border transmission of the virus that occurred in December 2004.

“Japan has once again proven to be one of the best, persistent and consistent donors that follows through on commitments,” says Mr. Ljungqvist. “UNICEF once again applauds the Government of Japan for this generous contribution, which will make a critical difference in the lives of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable women and children.”


 

 

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