ContextPreventable or easily treatable diseases remain the main killers of children and women in Côte d’Ivoire. An estimated 87,000 children under the age of five die every year from preventable diseases. Malaria is the first cause of morbidity and mortality among the population in general. In average, 63,000 children under five die every year because of Malaria. Diarrhea and respiratory infections are respectively the second and third causes of under-five mortality. Other deaths are caused by indirect causes including HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, poor hygiene, and lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation. Moreover, per 100,000 live births, about 810 women die from pregnancy-related causes each year.
UNICEF action and impact
UNICEF has identified child survival and development as the first right of the child. To ensure the respect of this right, UNICEF works with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, national and international agencies, and civil society to support effective and essential actions at each phase of the life cycle of the child.
1. Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI+)
The provision of public health services has been almost completely interrupted since September 2002 due to the crisis, particularly in the Centre, North and West of the country. However, UNICEF and its partners have been able to facilitate the restoration of the health system through the strengthening of the cold chain and the provision of essential medical supplies, vaccines, vitamin A, and insecticide-treated nets. In addition, priority has been given to the rehabilitation and re-equipment of approximately hundred maternities and health centres that had been plundered or ransacked during the crisis. Through multiple advocacy actions, UNICEF has also played a predominant role in supporting the return of qualified personnel, which had left because of the conflict, and the reactivation of district management teams and health districts. Hence, the provision of essential services and geographic access has greatly improved. Constraints however still exist due to the insufficient return of qualified personnel and insufficient utilization of provided services.
After notification of 17 cases of Wild Polio Virus in 2004, the polio immunization coverage has improved, thanks to additional immunization campaigns, and to the strengthening of the EPI and the epidemiological surveillance system. Since 2005 no new cases of Wild Polio Virus have been observed. Moreover, since 2005, a national measles immunization campaign has resulted in a considerable reduction of morbidity and mortality related to this illness.
UNICEF-supported campaign aims to immunize millions of children against polio in Côte d’Ivoire
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