Safeguard your newborn
Remarks by Baba Danbappa, Representative, UNICEF Papua New Guinea
On the occassion of the launch of the Tetanus Toxoid campaign, Round 3
We at UNICEF thank the Ministry and National Department of Health for the opportunity to be an active participant in saving lives of children and women.
This Tetanus Toxoid Vaccination Round 3 Campaign will free the newborn child and the mother from the dangers of tetanus, one of the most deadly diseases both can face.
Globally, tetanus kills one newborn every nine minutes. Almost all of these babies are born in families living in the most disadvantaged areas and communities.
We congratulate the Ministry for the nationwide effort to reach out to every girl and woman 15-45 years including all pregnant women, not only in the urban areas but more importantly to those in remote communities.
The Ministry has indeed resolved that every health worker becomes an engine of change for the life of every child, woman, family and community.
But the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus has not been an easy one. To date, 28 priority countries are yet to reach this global target by 2015. Papua New Guinea is one of these countries.
We at UNICEF remain committed to assist Papua New Guinea in bringing down sorrowful deaths of newborns and women from preventable tetanus infection.
We stand committed to safeguard and protect the well-being of every child and woman of Papua New Guinea.
To do this, we support the strengthening of routine immunization for sustaining polio eradication, measles control and introduction of new vaccines such as pneumococcal vaccine for the prevention of pneumonia and its complications.
We support other health interventions, nutrition, HIV AIDS, education, child protection, programme monitoring and evaluation - all of which contribute to the total development of children and women.
We recognize the power of collective action from all sectors. Each person in this gathering has a role and a contribution to make.
Every girl and boy is a key communication channel to the family and the community. The teacher-student-parent channel is just as important. Everyone indeed can send out the correct information to others in the community.
For this, UNICEF has teamed up with the Health Promotion Branch of the National Department of Health, WHO and other partners to make sure we communicate accurate and consistent information.
Together, we need to pay urgent attention and do more in the coming days to vaccinate women and children. We can achieve the country’s goal for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination as part of PNG’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.
Thank you and good day!