9 November 2011: UNICEF Zambia supports Child Health Week, targets 2.3 Million children with health interventions
LUSAKA, Zambia, 9 November 2011 – More than 2 million children are expected to be reached with lifesaving health interventions through the Ministry of Health’s Child Health Week.
Through Child Health Week, scheduled to run 7-12 November 2011, about 2.3 million children aged between 0-5 years countrywide will receive life-saving immunizations, deworming tablets, as well as Vitamin A supplementation, with support from UNICEF and its partners.
The programme is targeting 30 high risk districts in the country which have previously experienced outbreaks of diseases such as measles.
“We are also excited about the opportunity to support the Government with the prospect of introducing new vaccines in 2012, which will further improve the health of children and increase their chances of survival. We are supporting Government to provide pneumococcal and measles second dose vaccines. Children are the future and should at all costs be protected from preventable illnesses,” said UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa.
To reach Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, the challenge is to strengthen routine services and to improve access and utilization of these services by women and children countrywide. The Ministry of Health uses Child Health Week to supplement routine health services and ensure that mothers and children who miss out on routine services such as immunization and vitamin A supplementation can get a second opportunity to receive these important interventions.
“Child Health Week enables the delivery of a package of high-impact, low-cost child survival interventions. Over the course of the week, children, especially those in rural areas, will receive immunization, deworming medicines and Vitamin A. Mothers will also be counseled on key household practices such as breast-feeding and basic hygiene practices,” said UNICEF Zambia’s Chief of Health, Nutrition, and HIV and AIDS, Dr. Nilda Lambo.
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