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UNICEF in action

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UNICEF in action

UNICEF Tajikistan / Sodiqov / 2010
© UNICEF Tajikistan / Sodiqov / 2010
UNICEF Tajikistan staff unloading a supply plane with thousands of life-saving doses of polio vaccines.

UNICEF is a global leader in vaccine supply, reaching 40% of the world’s children. One quarter of UNICEF’s global budget – over $300 million in 2003 – is spent on vaccines and immunization.

We devote these resources to immunization because of the devastating consequences of not vaccinating: preventable child deaths; the immense social costs of disease; the re-emergence of infectious diseases that were once under control; and the spread of diseases to countries and continents where they had been eliminated.

In 2003, UNICEF shipped vaccines worth US$3.7 million to 14 countries in the region to protect children against disease. The value of the vaccines ranged from just over US$6,000 in Kazakhstan, to almost US$700,000 in Uzbekistan.  We work with national governments, WHO, NGOs, the World Bank, Gates Foundation, and the vaccine industry to tackle challenges in vaccine research, production, supply, immunization programme funding and delivery. 
UNICEF advocates for the maintenance of immunization during the reform of cash-strapped health systems. We help governments to develop national immunization plans. We enhance immunization programmes by distributing Vitamin A capsules and iron supplements and promoting breastfeeding during immunization campaigns. And we encourage and support governments in their efforts to assume responsibility for the sustainable financing of their national immunization services.

Introducing new vaccines in 11 countries. Through the GAVI partnership, UNICEF has helped Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan introduce Hepatitis B and Hib vaccines and upgrade their immunization systems. The GAVI partnership is providing support worth more than US$16 million over five years.

Vaccines for the Pankisi Gorge. In April 2004, UNICEF, USAID and UNHCR rushed measles vaccines and a mobile immunization team to the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, to immunize 2,500 Chechen refugee and Georgian children after an outbreak of the killer disease. The Gorge has a reputation for lawlessness that has undermined routine immunization. “We found children who had fallen through the immunization net” said UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, “and the children who were missing out on immunization were missing out on other basic services, other basic rights. This campaign gave us vital information about the children living in the Gorge  that will guide our work to reach all children with all services.”

Building public trust. We work to generate well-informed media coverage of immunization in the region to stimulate public trust. In Georgia, an investigation into a reported adverse reaction to immunization was followed by intensive communication work, including setting up a hot-line service for parents and training sessions to improve the communication skills of immunization workers. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a workshop for journalists gave UNICEF and partners the chance to present facts about immunization and promote the role of the media in public trust. Another highly successful workshop preceded the launch of the mass measles immunization campaign in Turkey in late 2003.





Related news

Georgia: Nationwide communication campaign on timely immunization kicks off 27/02/07

Turkmenistan: The cold-chain: Private sector partnership sets innovative example for the region 14/02/07

Uzbekistan: Measles immunization campaign targets over 620,000 young people in Tashkent 15/12/06

Press releases

AZERBAIJAN: Immunizing the hard-to-reach

National MR campaign to start in 2006

Serbia: immunization to reach the unreached

Government of Turkmenistan is committed to give the best start in life for children

Azerbaijan immunisation campaign launched by President

AZERBAIJAN: campaign to protect three million against measles and rubella

Turkey: 8 million children to be immunized in one month

Governments welcome WHO/UNICEF immunization strategy

Mass immunization campaign in Kazakhstan

Climbing every mountain: Tajikistan measles campaign

Vaccines for children in South Ossetia, Georgia

UNICEF rushes measles vaccines to Pankisi Gorge, Georgia


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