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Fight against Malaria - A priority in Guinea-Bissau

BISSAU,  27 November 2006 -The first nationwide campaign of Impregnated Mosquito Net distribution and net impregnation is being conducted free of charge by the Government of Guinea-Bissau with the support of its main partners, including UNICEF.  Vitamin A supplementation and the deworming of children with Mebendazole is also part of this campiagn that aims at reaching the total population of children under five years old.  Children under five represent 16.3 per cent of the total population.
 
“Unfortunately malaria has been played out by the local population for being so common. Malaria is the main cause of illness and death in Guinea-Bissau both in adults and children,”  said Jean Dricot, UNICEF Bissau Representative. “The loss of any life is hard, mainly when the victim is a child who dies from a preventable disease, such as malaria. Even when the child does not die, the consequences of constant illness due to malaria affect negatively the growth and development of the child, impacting in its social life. The use of impregnated mosquito nets can reduce child mortality up to 20 per cent, contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals four and six”, he added.     

UNICEF is investing in the Accelerated Child Survival and Development Initiative (ACSD) to demonstrate how low-cost key interventions, such as vaccination, supplementation with Vitamin A and the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets can prevent deaths among children under five years old from preventable diseases. 

The Icelandic Committee for UNICEF is the major partner of UNICEF in Guinea-Bissau for the implementation of ACSD. More than US$800.000 was allocated for the current Impregnated Mosquito Nets distribution campaign. Stefán Stefansson, UNICEF Executive Director in Iceland, who attended the launching of the campaign in the eastern regions, said that the achievement of the MDG four one of their major priorities.  He added,  “we are fully committed to the reduction of child mortality in Guinea-Bissau”.

“We deeply appreciate the support given by the Icelandic Committee for UNICEF for Guinea-Bissau and what UNICEF is doing in the country,” said João Bernardo Vieira, President of the Republic during the official launching of the campaign for the northern regions of the country last Saturday.

  
UNICEF support for the campaign

UNICEF has been giving technical and financial support to this campaign. 135.083 long lasting mosquito nets were purchased, as well as 30.000 units of 100.000IU and 196.500 units of 200.000IU of Vitamin A were equally made available. UNICEF global contribution was of US$947.507.  

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About UNICEF
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Yolanda Nunes Correia, Communication officer, UNICEF Guinea-Bissau, ycorreia@unicef.org


 

 

 

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