Preventing neonatal and maternal tetanus in Mali through sensitization and vaccination
Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a disease
that can easily be prevented and treated.
UNICEF supports the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus in Papua New Guinea
MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea, 16 February 2016 - Malvina Peter, who is eleven years old, grimaces at the sight of needles going into the arms of her peers as she anxiously waits for her name to be called out to get her tetanus jab.
Preventing an outbreak: Health assistants bring care to Liberia’s remote communities
RIVER GEE COUNTY, Liberia, 22 February 2018 – For as long as she can remember, Diana wanted to be a nurse. She pursued her dream in primary school in her village, all the way through to high school in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia.
South Sudan: How solar power fridges are helping save lives in world's least electrified country
AKOBO, South Sudan, 31 January 2018 – Vaccines save lives, but to be effective they need to be kept cool. In South Sudan, the least electrified country in the world, temperatures frequently exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Solar-powered refrigerators offer a solution, but fighting and hazardous roads mean transporting and installing them is anything but straightforward.
How toilets are saving lives and money in Afghanistan
NILI, Afghanistan, 18 November 2017 – For 23-year-old Fatima, it took the death of one child to spark a simple but transformational change, to convince the whole village to start using toilets and improve the health of many young lives.
Making childbirth safer in South Sudan
AWEIL, South Sudan, 9 November 2017 – Arek Yel Deng had given birth before but she had never experienced such pain. Her labour lasted a week and the pain was so severe she thought she was going to die.
Investing in better care during babies' first days is saving lives in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 3 November 2017 – “She is the daughter I dreamed to have,” says Nargiza. “When I reach into the incubator, I touch her hands, her legs, to give her my love.” Inside the incubator rests little Omurkal – Nargiza’s first child – who was born at 30 weeks.
Mobile medical teams provide a lifeline for children in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 16 October 2017 – “He is very weak and cannot even walk anymore. He’s lost so much weight.” Muhammad, 50, is desperate when he reaches the mobile medical team. He came on foot, carrying his feather-light son, Yahya, 4, in his arms. Muhammad has seen other children in his village die from malnutrition and he’s terrified the same fate awaits his son.
Africa's first humanitarian drone corridor launched in Malawi
LILONGWE, Malawi, 23 August 2017 – As the drone buzzed over Thipa village in rural Malawi, young and old people alike applauded in amazement. The community demonstration came as the Government of Malawi and UNICEF launched an air corridor to test the use of drones for humanitarian purposes – the first in Africa and one of the first globally with a focus on humanitarian and development use.
Mobilizing communities to fight a severe cholera outbreak in South Sudan
Kapoeta, South Sudan, 15 August 2017 – It started around 6 p.m. one evening, shortly after supper. Regina Lotem had been warned about it for weeks and even though she tried to prevent it, she knew it might happen. Her five-year-old son Juma had been vomiting and had severe diarrhoea for several hours. If not treated properly, she knew his life could be at risk.
A Syrian doctor’s determination in the face of violence and displacement
LATTAKIA, Syrian Arab Republic, 18 August 2017 – Two years ago, an escalation of violence in the northern Syrian city of Idleb forced Dr. Khaled and his family to flee their home. It was only four days after the birth of his son.
Children under attack in Yemen: Hameed’s story
SANA’A, Yemen, 11 August 2017 – Twelve-year-old Hameed is lying on a bed at the Thula Public Hospital north of Sana'a. This is the second time he has been hospitalized in the last few weeks, both times to receive treatment for cholera.
In east Aleppo, clinics on wheels keep children healthy
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 1 August 2017 – In many cities, the sight of children and parents crowded around a big white truck on a hot summer day is not unfamiliar. Only in conflict-affected eastern Aleppo, it is not an ice cream truck gathering these children, but a UNICEF-supported mobile health clinic.
Families in despair as cholera outbreak spreads across Yemen
ALHESN, Sana’a, Yemen, 18 July 2017 – A whirl of dust and wind sweeps through Alhesn, a village perched atop Sana’a’s highest hill. A young girl and her little brother slowly climb up the steep stony path leading to the village, carrying half-filled jerry cans of water. Nearby, a shepherd herds his cattle through the walled entrance of this hamlet, which is home to 70 families.
Thousands of community health workers bring lifesaving services to mother and baby in rural Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 29 June 2017 – It’s Tuesday evening and Nancy Tucker has finished tending her plot of potatoes and okra. She packs her tools and heads back to the village. Once there, she’ll see to the community’s latest crop – of newborn babies. Nancy has been serving her community as a volunteer community health worker since 2008.
Falling through the cracks: Yemen’s forgotten children in a cholera crisis
SANA'A, Yemen, 23 June 2017 – Worried parents wait outside the cramped paediatric emergency ward in Ma’abar hospital, 100 kilometers south of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. Helpless and unsure how to save their suffering children, they look expectantly at the few doctors and nurses on duty who hurriedly move in and out of the ward, wearing scrubs and masks.
Children of Yemen are in the grip of the second cholera outbreak in six months
SANA'A, Yemen, 22 May 2017 – For Um Taha and four of her children, the past few days have been nothing short of harrowing. Camped in a little corner of the diarrhoea treatment centre at the Al Sabayeen hospital in Sana’a, the 39-year-old mother has spent sleepless nights trying to take care of her children, all of whom have been diagnosed with cholera. Her husband is looking after their other five children back home.
In Sierra Leone, new hospital facilities help save mothers' lives
KONSHO, Sierra Leone, 5 April 2017 – Bakey Kamara is eight months pregnant with her third child and has just walked two miles under a hot sun for one of her last antenatal check-ups. Nonetheless, she’s visibly excited on arrival at Konsho Community Health Post, a centre that’s just had an upgrade, including a new maternity facility.
Response and prevention: battling cholera in Haiti
SOUTH EAST DEPARTMENT/LA MONTAGNE, Haiti, 9 March 2017 - “Washing hands before eating and nursing the baby, washing hands after relieving myself, using Aquatabs to purify the water.” Miss Desloges, 64 years old, easily recites the actions that will protect her and her family from cholera with a calm, somewhat monotonous voice.
How a new app streamlines care for vulnerable families in Romania
MOINEȘTI, Romania, 13 January 2017 – In a clearing in front of a large apartment block, children busily roam around in the sun, like birds at the crack of spring. The older ones hold the youngest and wait for their turn to jump rope. School bags have been abandoned for the day.
Hurricane Matthew three months on: Life for Haiti's children
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 9 January 2017 – Around three months ago hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, disrupting the lives of over two million people. In addition to the personal losses of homes and crops, more than 716 schools, numerous health facilities, and the existing sanitation infrastructure all suffered damage. Today, 1.4 million people in Haiti, including 600,000 children, require humanitarian assistance.
World AIDS Day 2017: Global AIDS targets won't be met unless progress accelerates
SMS reporting saves lives in Sierra Leone
PORT LOKO, Sierra Leone, 21 November 2016 - Nurse Kabiru Kargbo knows what to do. As soon as his health facility receives a delivery of supplies he pulls out his mobile phone and gets ready to report. He responds to some basic questions by SMS and sends the information back to the national level. Almost immediately the Ministry of Health and Sanitation knows its supplies have reached their destination.
The fight against cholera in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 25 October 2016 – For 35-year-old Um Arafat, things couldn’t get worse. After rushing her six-year-old son to the hospital for a suspected case of cholera, the mother of seven has now herself been diagnosed and admitted in a room next door. Frail and disoriented, she tries to recount what happened to her son. Her daughter stands by her side and completes her sentences whenever her mother is too exhausted to speak.
In Cambodia, bringing essential care to children and mothers in remote communities
PREAH VIHEAR PROVINCE, Cambodia, 24 October 2016 – Min Phath, 27, lies down on a colourful mattress under the thatched roof of Tmat Peoy’s community centre in Preah Vihear Province, northern Cambodia. Chhim Ren, a trained health midwife from the Takoeung Health Centre, gently examines her belly.
'Xô Zika!' Children on the front line of Zika virus vector control in Campina Grande, Brazil
CAMPINA GRANDE, Paraíba State, Brazil, 18 August 2016 – “I told him that I thought I might have a solution,” says Iolanda Barbosa, Secretary of Education in Campina Grande, the capital city of Paraíba State in north-east Brazil.
In drought-stricken Ethiopia, stopping measles in its tracks
TIGRAY REGION, Ethiopia, 27 April 2016 – The little girls and boys line up at the Mereb Mieti Health Centre, rolling up their sleeves and baring their arms in turn as the nurse deftly administers the measles vaccine.
Fighting malnutrition in Pakistan with a helping hand from children abroad
MUZAFFARGARH, Southern Punjab, 7 July 2016 – It was only seven weeks ago that Haseena Fiyyaz walked into the Mehmood Kot Basic Health Unit (BHU) with her 10-month-old boy, Younas, in her arms. One could easily see that not only was the child frail and underweight, but so was the mother.
In Angola, mosquito nets keep malaria out
DANDE, Angola, 21 June 2016 – Sonia rests on a piece of wood with her 2-year-old daughter on her lap. She and two of her neighbours have walked several kilometres to reach this point. Next to her is exactly what she came for: a stack of four neatly-packed mosquito bed nets.
Families welcome vaccination campaign in Yemen
AL MUKALLA, Yemen, 22 June, 2016 – When two young health workers knocked at his door to vaccinate his seven grandchildren, Abdul Aziz Mohammed Basaad welcomed them into his home. Many parents simply bring their children to the door to be vaccinated, but Basaad’s offer of a brief rest in an air-conditioned room and a glass of juice and cold water were his way of showing his appreciation.
For female health workers in India, a new digital tool puts data at their fingertips
VIJAYAWADA, India, 20 April 2016 - For more than two decades now, 45-year-old Padmavati has been visiting pregnant women, mothers and newborn children in the Vijayawada district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. With her, she carries several hardback paper registers – one for each village she visits – and carefully logs healthcare data as she goes.
Boosting birth registration in Pakistan with mobile phones
THATTA DISTRICT, Sindh Province, Pakistan, April 2016 – In Nabi Bukhsh Baloch, a rural community in Pakistan’s Sindh province, the entire village has come together to celebrate its newest resident. Mai Hajiani and her husband Ameer Bukhsh have just welcomed a baby boy, Darya Khan. In rural communities like this one, the birth of a child calls for joy and celebration, with festivities sometimes continuing for days and weeks, especially if it’s a boy.
The midwife of Mukalla, Yemen
MUKALLA, Yemen, 29 March 2016 – Entesar Saeed Bamoumen is a household name, here in the Roukeb district of the port city of Mukalla. You’ll see her criss-cross around the streets with her signature medical bag.
Air pollution is endangering children’s health in Mongolia
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, 22 February 2016 – “When I go to school, it is very smoggy and I can’t see anything. When I cross the road in the morning on my way to school, I can’t tell if the light is red or green,” says Nandin-Erdene, her cheeks red from the cold.
In Nigeria, a message for maternal and child health
EPE, Nigeria, 15 August 2014 – As her number is called out, Nike Kolawole stands up and straps her 2-year-old son to her back and walks over to the nurse. The nurse registers her for antenatal care and gives her folate tablets, as well as vitamin A and deworming tablets for her son, Samuel, who is also tested for malaria.
How Haiti combats cholera
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 27 December 2013 – The cholera treatment centre of Camp Perrin has a young patient with a suspected case of cholera. Exile Sylveus Junior and his team race to the scene in in Les Cayes, south of Port-au-Prince.
A milestone in the effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 19 November 2013 – It’s an early start for Rahila*, a volunteer who knocks at every door in her community asking mothers to bring their children to get vaccinated against the crippling polio virus. The chill in the morning breeze doesn’t deter this determined health worker from doing her rounds.
United Republic of Tanzania: Zanzibar fights a hidden hunger with iodized salt
PEMBA ISLAND, United Republic of Tanzania, 8 November 2013 – Mbarouk Hamad Yussaf, a salt farmer in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, sighs with relief. He has just received a year’s worth of potassium iodate and a manual sprayer. The equipment was distributed through Zanzibar’s Ministry of Health programme that aims for universal salt iodization on the island, with support from UNICEF.
In Jordan, polio vaccination campaign focuses on Syrian refugee children
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 5 November 2013 – The smell of coffee breaks the stale, dusty Za’atari air. Inside a caravan home, 19-year-old Hana'a is cooking up a strong Arabic brew. Her 18-month-old daughter, Ayah, is playing ball with her father.
In Ethiopian villages, improving water and nutrition lays groundwork for a better future
MACHAKEL DISTRICT, Ethiopia, 1 November 2013 – At 10 a.m. in the small village of Amari Yewabesh in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, Wubalem Asmamaw quietly greets her neighbours before putting down her clay pot in front of a water tap. The 17-year old student opens the spigot and fills the pot. She then walks back to her family’s home.
Innovative approaches improve maternal and child health care in Madhya Pradesh, India
MADHYA PRADESH, India, 29 October 2013 – Roopwati is on her way home. Twenty-four hours ago, she was in the same ambulance, on her way to give birth in a clinic, under medical supervision.
Mapping a city's risks, Haiti youth learn about health and technology
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 28 August 2013 – Carl Dorceus knows a good bit about HIV – how the disease is transmitted, how to protect himself and the importance of sharing what he knows with his friends.
In Somalia, a major campaign to stop the spread of polio
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 August 2013 – The mother of 3-year-old Mohamed Seef Naasir never realized the importance of vaccinating her children against polio until it was too late. The family lives hand-to -mouth in a makeshift shelter in a camp in the Somali capital Mogadishu for people displaced by the famine and conflict.
South African singer Zolani Mahalo hits the right notes on breastfeeding
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 12 August 2013 – Zolani Mahalo’s tiny frame stands in stark contrast to her powerful voice – its distinctive quality able to bring crowds to their feet. Zolani is the lead singer of South African Afro-fusion band Freshlyground. But right now it’s not the band – or the music – taking center stage. Zolani and her partner are eagerly expecting their first child.
In rural Homs, reaching families displaced by conflict
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 12 August 2013 – Summer is usually the time of year when schools sit empty, but hundreds of them in the Syrian Arab Republic are busy and crowded, providing emergency shelter for displaced children and their families.
Counsellors teach mothers the benefits of locally grown foods
BENUE STATE, Nigeria, 9 August 2013 – Sometimes, a nut changes everything. In Nigeria, it might even make the difference between life and death. In a country of more than 11 million children under 5 years who are stunted – a condition that diminishes a child’s physical and intellectual development and puts its survival at risk – many parents are unaware that many of the foods at their fingertips can benefit their children.
Singer and actress Natalia Oreiro joins forces with UNICEF to promote breastfeeding
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 5 August 2013 – Residents of Argentina and Uruguay are accustomed to seeing Natalia Oreiro in advertising campaigns. This year, however, she showed a more personal side in order to promote awareness of an easy health solution for babies with long-term benefits: prolonged breastfeeding.
In Viet Nam, mothers are finding layers of support to breastfeed
AN GIANG PROVINCE, Viet Nam, 2 August 2013 – Nguyen Anh Dao breastfeeds 4-month-old Minh Anh at their home in Binh Thanh Dong commune, An Giang province. Minh Anh is strong and healthy. She can stand up in her mother’s lap.
Breastfeeding, a good start in life, gets a big push in Cambodia
SVAY RIENG, Cambodia, 1 August 2013 – Much Boeung was born four months ago in Trapaing Chhouk village in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province, 125 km southeast of Phnom Penh. Like his 4-year-old sister, he was exclusively breastfed soon after birth. His mother, 24-year-old Touch Srey Aun, was encouraged to breastfeed by a member of the Mother Support Group network, which actively promotes exclusive breastfeeding from 0 to 6 months as part of Cambodia’s Baby-Friendly Community Initiative.
In Haiti, emergency clinics help reduce maternal and neonatal deaths
MARIGOT, Haiti, 25 July 2013 – Madette Perrique let out a heart-rending wail. She was in labour, and in pain. Only a few minutes after we had arrived at the clinic in Marigot, she was rushed into the delivery room by a crew of nurses in blue. Moments later, we heard a baby cry.
Polio outbreak in Somalia threatens to spread
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2013 – Faisa Abdullahi, 8 years old, lives in a camp for internally displaced people, where her family moved after their cattle died. She had never been given any vaccinations, and during the last polio outbreak, Faisa contracted the disease. Now she can only walk with the help of her crutches.
Integrating services to scale up birth registration in Nigeria
KADUNA, Nigeria, 15 July 2013 – Rose Wisdom rocks her baby girl back and forth. Mami is only two weeks old and appears uncomfortable with the heat and the bustle around her at the Hope for the Village Child Foundation Centre in Chikun, on the outskirts of Kaduna in northern Nigeria.
As crisis persists in Central African Republic, doctors struggle to provide aid
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 26 June 2013 - In April, a group of children ages 5 to 12 were playing football in a Bangui neighbourhood when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded in the playing field. Fourteen children were injured and had to be rushed to Bangui’s pediatric hospital, where they received treatment from the medical NGO Emergency, a UNICEF partner.
Tackling malnutrition in Uganda with homegrown solutions
KICUZI, Uganda, 17 May 2013 – Peter, Erik and Dalton Butetera are huddled in a corner of their hut while health worker Beatrice Asaba prepares millet porridge at their home in Ibanda District in southwestern Uganda. Despite their different ages – Peter is 4, Erik 3, and Dalton only 2 years old – the brothers are nearly the same size. All three children are malnourished, and their physical similarity is the result of stunting.
UNICEF launches groundbreaking cholera toolkit
NEW YORK, United States of America, 15 May 2013 – As part of its effort to reduce cholera in the world, UNICEF has responded to the growing threat of this disease by launching the UNICEF cholera toolkit, which will help UNICEF staff and partners prevent, prepare for and respond to the disease.
In Afghanistan, reaching the hardest to reach with vaccines
KABUL, Afghanistan, 10 May 2013 – It has been another painful journey back from the children’s hospital for 4-year old Akram, a trip the young boy has made several times in the past two weeks with his mother, Zarghona. Akram was diagnosed with measles, and the disease has made him feeble and tired, with a high fever and little appetite.
A new pneumonia vaccine is launched to save thousands of children
IGANGA DISTRICT, Uganda, 10 May 2013 – Pneumonia is one of the top three killer diseases of children under the age of 5 globally. In Uganda, pneumonia kills up to 24,000 children every year before their fifth birthday. But now thousands of children’s lives will be saved by the recent introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
Two drops for Mecca: Mother of polio-affected girl opens doors to vaccination
HAWAN DAKI, Nigeria, 8 May 2013 – Aisha may not be able to read, but she never forgets a name, or a child. "Where are Hassan, Hassana and the other kids?" Aisha asks the woman of the house as she stands in the doorway. Hassana is in, but Hassan is outside,” says their mother.
In Mali, information about breastfeeding is saving children's lives
SIKASSO, Mali, 8 April 2013 – Exclusive breastfeeding saves lives. Aminata Coulibaly, from the village of Kesso, Sikasso region, has seen its impact first-hand.
In a relatively quiet region of Mali, programme targets malaria deaths
OUÉLESSÉBOUGOU, Mali, 27 March 2013 – Continuing conflict in the northern part of Mali has had tremendous impact on the country. Mali has also been facing food and nutrition crisis aggravated by the political instability and conflict in the north. Schools have been closed, health centres looted and vandalized, children’s rights violated.
Towards abandoning female genital mutilation/cutting in Somalia for once, and for all
BOORAMA, northwest Somalia, 27 February 2013 – Ten-year-old Kheiriya has a secret. The secret is that, unlike most girls her age in Boorama, she has not been circumcised. The soft-spoken girl is scared to let others know.
Investment in children - the best buy in global health
NEW YORK, United States of America, 22 January 2013 – As global leaders and business titans gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum to discuss the economic outlook of the world, UNICEF is looking at the economic advantages of low-cost commodities and innovations that could save the lives of millions of children and women.
A well offers hope for the future in rural Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 20 December 2012 – It’s been years since Fatima Suthi has seen rain. The 51-year-old mother of eight lives near the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya.
A UNICEF staff member is motivated by work, colleagues - and stigma
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 19 December 2012 - Reporting Specialist at UNICEF Haiti Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan was diagnosed with hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM) in 2007. HIBM is an extremely rare degenerative condition that affects the entire body.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football star Leo Messi campaigns for an end to preventable child deaths
NEW YORK, United States of America, 14 December 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football star Leo Messi makes an urgent plea to strengthen efforts in child survival to save the lives of thousands of children dying every year from preventable causes.
In the Niger, a community-led sanitation programme transforms lives
MARADI, Niger, 13 December 2012 – A year ago, recalls Ashorou Miko, 31, “We were living surrounded by human excreta. The only way to relieve ourselves was by defecating in the bushes. The stench was unbearable.”
Hit hard by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Petit Goave recovers and rebuilds its water system
PETIT GOAVE, Haiti, 13 December 2012 – The massive earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 destroyed the water system of Petit Goave, a coastal city near the quake’s epicentre.
As nutrition crisis starts to release its grip on Mauritania, a mother seeks care for her unresponsive baby
TINIZAH, Kaedi Region, Mauritania, 12 December 2012 - Humming softly, Fatimatou cradles her healthy, smiling 9-month-old boy Sidiahmed in her lap. It’s been a long time since she could relax and play with him.
UNICEF leads Child Health Days to stem the tide of preventable childhood diseases across Somalia
BOSSASO, Somalia, 10 December 2012 – The journey to defeat the diseases that kill thousands of children every year in Somalia starts in the chilly light of dawn.
As leaders gather to discuss vaccines at the GAVI Forum, the United Republic of Tanzania introduces new vaccines for pneumonia and diarrhoea
MOROGORO, United Republic of Tanzania, 6 December 2012 – As the mercury crept up to the upper range of the 30s (C) and the humidity approached 100 per cent, Upendo Philip, 24, and her 1-month-old baby Ustant crammed onto a motorbike with a driver, a cousin and her baby. They made their way to the Melela Health Facility 25 km away from their tiny village of Meleo, in Morogoro Region, 200 km south of the nation’s capital.
Field Diary: Parents in the Syrian Arab Republic brave fighting to get their children vaccinated
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 December 2012 - At the vaccination clinics I visited, the sounds of children crying after their injections mixed with the explosions of gunshots and shelling in the streets outside.
Teen Club in Namibia helps children living with HIV transition into adolescence
WINDHOEK, Namibia, 3 December 2012 - Once a month, about 50 adolescents congregate at Teen Club to discuss the challenges they face in life. They also receive health education.
Executive Director Anthony Lake discusses UNICEF's drive towards the finish line - an AIDS-free generation
NEW YORK, United States of America, 30 November 2012 - As countries across the globe observe World AIDS Day this year, they do so with two dates in mind. One is 1 December – the day of the event itself.
Starting with children is key to achieving an AIDS-free generation
NEW YORK, United States of America, 28 November 2012 – An AIDS-free generation, once seemingly impossible, is at last within reach. And on this year’s World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December, we gratefully acknowledge that we have come this far, in large part, because of women in the developing world.
As UNICEF and partners redouble efforts to deliver emergency assistance to Rakhine State, Myanmar, two children give voice to the situation
RAKHINE STATE, Myanmar, 21 November 2012 – Since ethnic tensions erupted in Rakhine State in June, the conflict has displaced an estimated 110,000 people.
In India, pilot programme builds skills to save mothers and newborns
PATNA, India, 20 November 2012 - “Insert it slowly, from the nose, down to the stomach. Be careful, or you may enter the lungs. Gudda is just a day old,” the doctor calls out.
Children are caught in the new wave of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 19 November 2012 – They were too young to understand the violence that would kill them. Bearing the brunt of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict on their shrouds, four children from the Dalu family were buried amidst continued bombardment in Gaza City, occupied Palestinian territory. Their family home was turned into rubble by missile attack on Sunday.
In Haiti, kangaroo mother care helps stabilize the health of premature babies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 16 November 2012 - Marie Michelle François lies on a bed in the neonatal unit. Her newborn baby is strapped to her stomach in a stretchy wrap. His head is covered with a thick knit hat, despite the sweltering heat. Born at 32 weeks, he is one week old and weighs less than three pounds. His eyes flutter, but he does not awaken.
Hit hard by massive flooding for the third successive year, people of Pakistan's Sindh province have no respite
JACOBABAD, Sindh, Pakistan, 13 November 2012 – As the only breadwinner of a family of 13, Sikandar Ali is deeply concerned about the health and nutrition of his wife, nine children and two sisters. Although the family had hardly recovered from hardships brought by floods in 2010, widespread monsoon flooding has, once again, deprived him of his livelihood.
Months after famine conditions have ended, health centres across southern Somalia help children suffering from malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 November 2012 – Ten-month-old Ifrah Mohamed Abdi was born as the first famine declared in more than 20 years in Africa held its grip on the village in which her family has lived for generations.
In India, Formula 1 star and UNICEF Ambassador Fernando Alonso says hand-washing is a simple solution to saving millions of children's lives
NEW DELHI, India, 5 November 2012 – Formula 1 driver and UNICEF Ambassador Fernando Alonso visited the village of Tugarpur, Uttar Pradesh, to promote hand-washing with soap.
In occupied Palestinian territory, UNICEF and partners tackle the risks of open cesspools
Gaza, occupied Palestinian territory, 2 November 2012 - White birds fly low over the mirror-smooth pond before landing in the grass, where, much to the delight of 16-year-old Ahmed, some start singing.
Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall joins the fight to abolish measles
NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 October 2012 - Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall has designed a series of posters for the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
Community workers take healthcare to the hardest-to-reach villages in Namibia
OPUWO, Namibia, 18 October 2012 - In its quest to ensure that no child die from preventable diseases, the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Namibia, with the support of UNICEF and development partners, has deployed 34 health extension workers as public service employees to extend healthcare and social welfare services from health facilities into the community.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF and partners bring healthcare to displaced families
OBO, Central African Republic, 17 October 2012 – In a hospital pediatric ward, three babies are recovering from malaria. Moris Mbodoli is looking after his son Anissa. “When Anissa had fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, I brought him here. We have been here for three days now. He is getting better and will be able to leave today,” he says.
Haitian students spread the message of hand-washing, a critical measure in the fight against disease
FRECHOU, Haiti, 16 October 2012 – Derilus’s mother nearly died of cholera last year in this small mountain village just outside Port-au-Prince.
CNN and UNICEF raise awareness of the silent emergency of child stunting
New York, United States of America, 16 October 2012 - CNN has partnered with UNICEF to put the international spotlight on the global crisis of stunting, or low height for age in children. About 165 million children under the age of 5 suffer from stunting, with more than 90 per cent of them living in Africa and Asia.
For children in Mali, hand-washing and safe water save lives
SIRAKORO, Mali, 15 October 2012 - It is a bright, hot day in the tiny village of Sirakoro in Mali’s central Mopti region. Children, their parents, school staff and community leaders have met up with a team of UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialists, along with local partner NGO Association Recherche Action Femme et Développement (ARAFD).
In Mauritania, progress made in ending female genital mutilation/cutting
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 11 October 2012 – Fatima was just a week old when she lost her life to a serious infection following her excision.
In Cambodia, a push to bring healthcare to remote areas
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 4 October 2012 - Baby Moeun has just come into the world. Though he doesn’t know it, he has a difficult journey ahead of him.
Advocates living with HIV and cricketers raise awareness about HIV through the Think Wise campaign
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 3 October 2012 – Sarath* had been living and working abroad. Until a few years ago, he had also been a successful track and field athlete, competing in 400-metre races and the triple jump. Then he contracted HIV from a sexual partner.
In remote regions of Bangladesh, community health workers break barriers to healthcare
SUNAMGANJ, Bangladesh, 3 October 2012 – Rita Rani Boidda walks for miles every day in Sunamganj district, in one of the most remote regions of Bangladesh. She goes from door to door, navigating narrow lanes under the scorching sun, in the pouring rain, sometimes along a flooded terrain.
Nutrition takes centre stage at United Nations headquarters
NEW YORK, United States of America, 27 September 2012 - Nutrition was the focus of a high-level event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at United Nations headquarters, New York.
United Nations Secretary-General hosts high-level polio meeting
NEW YORK, United States of America, 28 September 2012 - Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the most important meeting on polio eradication of the past 20 years.
United Nations Commission lays out plan to improve access to life-saving health supplies for women and children
NEW YORK, United States of America, 26 September 2012 - Members of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children today submitted a new plan and set of recommendations seeking to increase the supply of, and access to, life-saving and affordable medicines and health supplies for the world’s most vulnerable women and children.
Social Good Summit panel debates the Web, social media, apps and handsets in service of A Promise Renewed
NEW YORK, United States of America, 25 September 2012 - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake asks you to imagine a football stadium. But he asks you to think about it in terms of child mortality.
Meeting notes progress on reducing maternal and child mortality
NEW YORK, 24 September 2012 - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake hosted a high-level Health 4+ meeting on women’s and children’s health at UNICEF’s New York headquarters today.
Pursuing universal salt iodization in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 21 September 2012 - From the outside, the clinic does not look like a health clinic at all. It is one of many modest buildings huddled together under the blazing sun, surrounded by a sea of tents. But inside, the clinic bustles with activity. Women queue to receive food, pregnant women sit waiting patiently on folded chairs, and, everywhere, babies squirm, bawl and slumber in their mothers’ arms.
In facing nutrition crisis, the Niger benefits from lessons learned
MADAROUNFA, Maradi region, Niger, 10 September 2012 - Ouma Abdul sits on a cot at the Madarounfa Pediatric Intensive Feeding Centre comforting her underweight 18-month-old daughter Nafiza. Despite the promise of a good harvest, hospitals and health centres across the country are filled to capacity with young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
In facing nutrition crisis, the Niger benefits from lessons learned
MADAROUNFA, Maradi region, Niger, 10 September 2012 - Ouma Abdul sits on a cot at the Madarounfa Pediatric Intensive Feeding Centre comforting her underweight 18-month-old daughter Nafiza. Despite the promise of a good harvest, hospitals and health centres across the country are filled to capacity with young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Education a first step to improving nutrition security in Burkina Faso
OUAHIGOUYA, Burkina Faso, 10 September 2012 - A thin dusting of bright green shoots covers the sandy plains around Ouahigouya, in northwest Burkina Faso. Recent rains have broken a three-year drought, and vegetation in this arid region has come to life.
In India, a community works to change sanitation and hygiene practices
MIRZAPUR, Uttar Pradesh, India, 4 September 2012 - Eleven-year-old Sharda and half a dozen friends beat drums and chant slogans as they walk through the narrow lanes of Lalapur. Their message is: make the remote village in Uttar Pradesh free from open defecation.
Survey results: Child malnutrition rates remain alarming in Chad
WADI FIRA, Chad, 30 August 2012 – The fire that broke out at the Biltine health centre in Chad’s Wadi Fira region was something these people could ill afford.
Nigeria battles a worsening malnutrition crisis
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 28 August 2012 - It’s 9 a.m., and already the soil is being scorched by the unforgiving sun. The landscape is bleached out with no shade. The only splash of color is provided by 10 yellow watering cans lined up neatly by the side of a muddy well. Next to them, Al Haji Yahaya and his young son are methodically filling them up with brown-coloured water from what is little more than a sandy hole.
With cholera cases on the increase worldwide, UNICEF develops a 'Cholera Toolkit'
NEW YORK, United States of America, 24 August 2012 - Cholera is a significant public health priority currently making headlines, including The New York Times article of 22 August ‘Cholera Epidemic Envelops Coastal Slums in West Africa’.
As the food crisis in Mali worsens, UPS and UNICEF deliver humanitarian aid
BAMAKO, Mali, 21, August 2012 - On 16 August, a large M-11 jet airliner touched down at the Bamako-Sénou International Airport, as the United Parcel Service (UPS) made its first free-of-charge delivery to UNICEF Mali. As part of UPS’s efforts to help people in the Sahel affected by the food and nutrition crisis, 20 metric tons of supplies were delivered to Mali. The supplies are part of UNICEF’s emergency response to the food and nutrition crisis in the North of Mali, which has been complicated by a cholera outbreak and armed conflict.
Battling dust storms and the burning desert sun to meet the most basic need of the displaced - water
Za’atari, Jordan, August 17, 2012 - Eleven year old Abdullah stares silently at his dust covered toes under the scorching afternoon sun in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp.
Angola turns the tide against polio
UIGE, Angola, 8 August 2012 – In the north-eastern town of Uige, 26-year-old Ricardo Monteiro makes his way to work in his three-wheeled chair. Ricardo has polio, which his says he contracted when the family lived on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war in Angola.
In Syria, Schools Become Homes and Support Centers
DAMASCUS, Syria, 2 Aug, 2012 - In Damascus, Aleppo and other cities in Syria, schools are hosting internally displaced persons who had to flee neighbourhoods affected by shelling and violence. According to the Ministry of Education, 307 schools today are hosting internally displaced persons. Residents vary from 50 in a small school to more than 400 in big schools.
Aid trickles into Somalia's drought hit Baidoa region as militant group Al-Shabaab moves out
BAIDOA, Somalia, 3 August 2012 - Until just three weeks ago, Nuriya Moallim and her family of nine children and grandchildren had managed to stay in their village in southern Somalia. Despite the failed rains and the drought of 2011, they persevered.
In Ethiopia, more HIV-positive mothers deliver babies free of the virus
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 1 August 2012 – Adanech* rushed to the Saris Health Centre in Addis Ababa when her labour pains started.
Pneumococcal vaccine launched in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 31 July 2012 – At Kuwadzana Polyclinic, in a surburb of Harare, 3-month-old Joe Mahachi was the first child to receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV 13), which protects children against pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under age 5.
In Yemen, a community volunteer overcomes obstacles to helping malnourished children
HODEIDAH GOVERNORATE, Yemen, 31 July 2012 – Mona Ali Aiash, a community volunteer in Deer Aiash Village of Hodeidah Governorate, conducts bi-monthly house visits to families with children under age 5.
Teaching the principles of good hygiene to school children
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 30 July 2012 – Nigeria has a vast coastline and river tributaries that irrigate the south, yet insufficient access to clean water contributes to millions of deaths every year. One in seven children will die in Nigeria before they reach the age of 5, many of them from waterborne illnesses.
HIV/AIDS clubs teach children to protect themselves from the disease in Ghana
TAMALE, Ghana, 27 July 2012 – The classroom is crowded – an hour before school is meant to start for the day. Students sit in each other’s laps and squeeze three to a chair. Those at the back lean against the wall or stand on chairs.
Field Diary: Recovering from a brush with death in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 25 July 2012 – In September 2011, two months after famine was officially declared in the Horn of Africa by the United Nations, I was in the southern region of Somalia – the hardest-hit area.
‘Shuga: Love, Sex, Money' screened at global AIDS conference
WASHINGTON, D.C., 26 July 2012 – When UNICEF and its partners, MTV and HIV-Free Generation of the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) , wanted to inform adolescents and young people how to protect themselves against the HIV epidemic, they used one of the world’s oldest and most reliable forms of communication: drama.
Inclusion of youth and women essential to turning the tide against HIV, says UNICEF Deputy Executive Director
WASHINGTON, D.C., 26 July 2012 – ‘Turning the Tide Together’ is the theme of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) taking place in Washington, D.C., this week. In a plenary session on 25 July, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta and Senior Advisor on AIDS Scale-up Chewe Luo firmly established that children must be part of efforts to reverse the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
Aid for children abducted and exploited by armed groups in the Central African Republic
OBO, Central African Republic, 25 July 2012 – “I was at home asleep with my mother, brothers and sisters. In the night some men came with weapons and torches. They took me and two other children away from my family and many others from our village,” said Sophie*, recalling her abduction and enslavement by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic.
Innovation in spotlight at UNICEF HIV leadership forum
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 24 July 2012 – An AIDS-free generation is now within reach, and children are the key to achieving that goal. But innovative thinking aimed at overcoming bottlenecks in delivering services is also essential – not least because it can bring care, treatment and support to the women, babies, and families in greatest need.
Outpatient services save the lives of severely malnourished children in Nigeria
KATSINA, Nigeria, 20 July 2012 – The first rains have arrived in northern Nigeria. Tufts of guinea corn are peeking out from the soil. Farmers are optimistic that this year’s growing season will yield good results – yet hundreds of children are packed into a community clinic near Katsina, seeking treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
In Ethiopia's refugee camps, life-saving assistance for Somali arrivals
DOLLO ADO, Ethiopia, 20 July 2012 – Mariami Ibrahim raised her hand in protest. “Never,” she declared when asked if she plans to return to Somalia.Ms. Ibrahim arrived in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, near the borders of Somalia and Kenya, twelve months ago, following a harrowing trek from her home near Baidoa, Somalia.
Ambitious UK aid plan delivers strong, measurable results for the world's poorest
NEW YORK, USA, 20 July 2012 – More than 12 million children have been vaccinated against preventable diseases, 6 million people have received emergency food assistance, and 5.3 million children have secured schooling. These are among more than a dozen achievements made by UNICEF’s long-time partner, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), over the last two years.
Ahead of major international conference, UNICEF stresses need for innovation to eliminate new HIV infections
NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2012 – As experts gather in Washington, D.C., on 22 July for a major international conference on rolling back the HIV and AIDS epidemic, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake will host a leadership forum on the need for innovation to eliminate new HIV infections in children.
UNICEF and partner awarded for Programme Mwana, programme using SMS messages to deliver HIV test results
NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2012 – A leading US design organization has honored UNICEF and frog, a partner organization, with awards for an innovative programme that speeds the delivery of HIV information and reminds patients about clinic appointments.
UNICEF, EU and the Government of Uzbekistan recommit to equitable health care for mothers and children
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 19 July 2012 – UNICEF, the Government of Uzbekistan and the European Union (EU) signed today a tri-partite agreement for the implementation of phase II of the EU-UNICEF Development Cooperation Programme ‘Improvement of Mother and Child Health Services in Uzbekistan (IMCHS)’. The agreement embodies a joint commitment by the three partners to strengthen health governance, improve quality of care for mothers and children, and promote health-seeking practices among families and communities.
UNICEF celebrates tenth anniversary of ‘Football for Life’
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, 18 July 2012 – Hundreds of children and adolescents participated in the tenth anniversary of ‘Football for Life’ in Honduras. This programme, supported by the Central District Municipality Mayor’s Office and UNICEF, has provided access to sport, education and health care to more than 40,000 children in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of the capital over the last decade.
One year after the declaration of famine, Somalia sees signs of progress
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Dressed in helmets and body armour, UNICEF Emergency Specialist Maulid Warfa takes an armed convoy through Mogadishu, passing through the strategic K4 crossroads.
In north-western Pakistan, UNICEF provides safety and education for displaced children
Jalozai Camp, Pakistan, 17 July 2012 – Safia Bibi, 11, recalls the day her house in Khyber Agency was riddled with mortar shells and bullets.
Angola strengthens services to prevent paediatric HIV infections
LUANDA, Angola, 17 July 2012 – The smile is visible on the face of Rosa Pedro, a 42-year-old HIV activist working to improve access to health services for people living with HIV.
UNICEF public service announcement urges focus on HIV prevention
KAMPALA, Uganda, 16 July 2012 – For the first time, UNICEF is supporting the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards 2012. These prestigious awards were established in 1995 to encourage, promote and recognize excellence in journalism across the African continent.
In India, women-led self-help groups empower women and improve health
VALSAD, Gujarat, 16 July 2012 – Twenty-two-year-old Sharuben Kurkutiya feared her family would not be able to save the money needed to have her first child delivered at the local hospital in her remote village of Ozharaifaliya in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
In Yemen, therapeutic feeding centres treat child malnutrition, educate parents
SANA’A, Yemen, 13 July 2012 – Odai is recovering from severe malnutrition. At 4 years and 10 months old, he weighs a mere 10 kg. He had experienced bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea for weeks. Eleven days ago, his grandmother, Katiba, brought him to the therapeutic feeding clinic at Sana’a Sabeen Hospital.
In Yemen, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake calls for efforts to improve child nutrition and well-being
SANA'A, Yemen, 10 July 2012 – “Wouldn't you instinctively want to invest in hope more than horror?” These were the words of UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake during his three-day visit to Yemen this week.
In Sierra Leone, school-led sanitation programmes improve health and save lives
MASAKA, Sierra Leone, 10 July 2012 – Memunatu Conteh, 14, lives in Masaka with her mother and four siblings. She has a busy daily routine, collecting water and sweeping her family’s compound in the morning, going to TDC Primary School Masaka to attend classes, then fetching water for the classrooms. After school, she plays football, then returns home to help her mother with the cooking.
UNICEF and partners support the distribution of food supplements for children at risk of malnutrition in Mauritania
KIFFA/BOUGHADOOUM, Mauritania, 9 July 2012 – At 8 a.m., 22-year-old Tahya Mint Bowbe, her 11-month-old son Cheikh and her 3-year-old sister Aminte Mint Bowbe waited in a queue of children and women at the health centre in Kiffa. They were there to participate in a malnutrition screening for children under age 5 and a blanket feeding program providing food supplements to all children aged 6 to 24 months.
State-of-the-art care for Gaza's infants
GAZA CITY, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 6 July 2012 – On a sunny day in Gaza, Mirfat Ali cuddled her 10-day-old baby Mahmoud. With the sun pouring in from the window, her concern slowly eased: her infant had finally stopped coughing.
In Ethiopia, health services are protecting drought-affected children from malnutrition
KORRE ROGICHA, Ethiopia, 3 July 2012 – Shilime Erbo, a single mother of two, sits outside her hut in Korre Rogicha Village, contemplating their family’s future.
In Mauritania, healthcare campaign aims to save children from preventable diseases
M’BOUT and NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 28 June 2012 – More than 500,000 children across Mauritania have benefited from a two-month campaign organized by the Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), that provided an integrated package of immunizations (including measles and polio vaccinations) and vitamin A supplementation for all Mauritanian children under 5 years old.
In Zimbabwe, a weeklong immunization campaign focuses on ending preventable diseases
SEKE, Zimbabwe, 27 June 2012 – At 10 a.m., Seke Rural North Clinic was a hive of activity. It was the first day of the National Immunization Days, a countrywide immunization campaign, and the turnout was huge.
In DR Congo, communications efforts are turning back religious resistance to the polio vaccine
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 June 2012 – Though polio has been eradicated from much of the world, it remains a tragic reality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where transmission of the virus was re-established in 2006. Since 2010, it has affected nearly 200 people.
Singer and UNICEF Regional Ambassador Oliver Mtukudzi visits Tanzania to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and violence against children
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, 26 June 2012 – Renowned Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi recently made his first visit to Tanzania as a UNICEF Regional Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa. During his visit, he helped raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and child protection.
Social mobilization campaigns help reduce child mortality in Madagascar
TULEAR, Madagascar, 25 June 2012 – Onja is a star, the lead singer of Tinondia, one of Madagascar’s most famous bands. Eliane, by contrast, is not famous at all. Eliane grew up in the poor, glamour-less world of a slum in the south-western city of Tulear.
In DR Congo, support for the cold chain essential to eradicating polio
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 June 2012 – Poor infrastructure and difficult terrain isolate many villages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This lack of access is the greatest obstacle to the country’s provision of health care.
Social mobilizers encourage communities to get vaccinated against polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 22 June 2012 – Poor hygiene practices and community resistance to vaccination have enabled wild poliovirus to re-surface in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent years.
UNICEF engages community leaders and parents to increase vaccine coverage and eliminate polio
KAGANGA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 June 2012 – Since 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has had 193 polio cases.
UNICEF launches its largest-ever operation against malnutrition in Chad
MAO, Chad, 19 June 2012 – According to UNICEF’s estimates, 127,000 children will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, in Chad this year, part of the broader food and nutrition crisis afflicting the Sahel region of Africa.
Child Survival Call to Action summit closes with commitment to eliminate preventable child deaths
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 16 June 2012 – Ethiopia’s Minister of Health opened the second day of the Child Survival Call to Action conference in Washington, D.C, by encouraging countries to take ownership of new international momentum to reduce child mortality.
In DR Congo, soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua promotes polio vaccination
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 15 June 2012 – Congolese soccer star and UNICEF National Ambassador Tresor Lualua recently accompanied a mobile team of polio vaccinators in Kinshasa during the second round of the 2012 National Immunization Days.
Child Survival Call to Action challenges the world to reduce child mortality
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 14 June 2012 – United Sates Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged international leaders gathered at Georgetown University to commit more resources and effort to reduce the numbers of deaths of children.
In Kenya, maternal shelters are part of a broad package of care designed to reduce child mortality
GARISSA, Kenya, 14 June 2012 – The moment the labour pains set in for Shagaa Issack, the caretaker shifted her full attention to the mother. The caretaker, at the maternal shelter in Kenya’s North Eastern Province, helped Ms. Issack slowly make her way to the Garissa Provincial General Hospital, just 300 metres away.
In the Republic of the Congo, UNICEF and WHO launch initiatives to treat, combat and prevent cholera
ISLE M'BAMOU, Republic of Congo, 12 June 2012 – The diarrhoea and vomiting started at 3 a.m., and hours later, 12-year-old Steward Okoulokami was weak and losing weight. His panicked father, Dimitri, packed him into a dugout boat and brought him to Brazzaville.
In Malawi, Health Surveillance Assistants provide a life-saving link between communities and the health care system
CHIMPHANGA VILLAGE, Malawi, 11 June 2012 –Blessings Makono has been up since 8 a.m. conducting a ‘village clinic’ outside his house. Ten women are seated on the dusty floor, their babies tightly wrapped on their backs with the traditional chitenje cloth.
In Lao PDR, a UNICEF-supported workshop helps health workers tackle malnutrition
SEKONG PROVINCE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 11 June 2012 ¬– Nearly 40 local nurses and doctors have gathered at the Health Department in Sekong, a rural province in southern Lao PDR.
In Indonesia, community-based approaches tackle deadly childhood diseases
NUSA TENGGARA TIMUR, Indonesia, 7 June 2012 – In Loli Village, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Sua Augustinus Hauloni is feeling much happier about his family’s health.
Donated UPS flight brings life-saving supplies to crisis-affected communities in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 6 June 2012 – Mauritania continues to face its worst lean season in years. Twenty-five per cent of households are food insecure, and 52 per cent of those are severely food insecure. Many children are now suffering from malnutrition and many more are expected to be affected before the end of the lean season in late September.
With pneumonia and diarrhoea vaccines, Rwanda makes gains in child survival
RUTONDE/KIGALI, Rwanda, 6 June 2012 – With heavy breathing, fever and no appetite, 8-month-old Elie Noikumwenagyo arrived at the Rutonde health clinic in rural Rwanda. There, he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
In Uzbekistan, children learn proper hand-washing to prevent worms and other diseases
FERGHANA VALLEY, Uzbekistan, 5 June 2012 – Some 900,000 children between ages 6 and 11 received deworming tablets during Hygiene Promotion and Deworming Week, and event held in Andijan, Ferghana and Namangan provinces of the eastern Ferghana Valley.
In Chad, finding long-term solutions to the nutrition crisis
MAO, Chad, 4 June 2012 – “My other children were able to walk when they were 8 months old, but not Ereta,” said Zaïnabou Mamataya. At 8 months, Ereta weighed only 2.6 kg and was admitted to hospital in Nokou, Western Chad's Kanem Region.
Post-natal home visits improve newborn survival in Gaza
GAZA, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 1 June 2012 – Every year, an estimated 1,600 babies die in the first four weeks of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Most of these newborns deaths could be prevented if mothers and newborns’s health was systematically evaluated, and if young mothers received advice on how to best care for their children.
In Lesotho, reaching all pregnant women with health services to eliminate paediatric HIV infections
PHELINDABA, Lesotho, 30 May 2012 – Thato* and her husband Thabang Peli* are both living with HIV. They are healthy, thanks to the antiretroviral therapy that they take regularly. And thanks to preventative therapies, both of their sons, ages 5 years and 9 months, were born free from the virus.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF reaches out to ethnic minorities in the fight against polio
BOYALI VILLAGE, Central African Republic, 30 May 2012 – Following the discovery of four cases of polio in late 2011, UNICEF and its partners have supported the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) in organizing a series of emergency polio vaccination campaigns in 2012.
Nigerien women take the lead in implementing practices to protect their families during the nutrition crisis
GARIN GOULBI, Niger, 29 May 2012 – In Garin Goulbi, a small village more than 500 kilometres from Niger’s capital, women have taken the lead in protecting their families and community during the country’s dire food security and nutrition crisis, which has left more than six million people across Niger facing food shortages.
In New York, UN Commission convenes to increase access to life-saving health products for children and women
NEW YORK, USA, 24 May 2012 – The United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children convened in New York this week to finalize recommendations for urgent action to help women and children around the world.
Immunization and education for Malian refugees in Mauritania
M’BERA, Mauritania, 23 May 2012 – Conflict in Mali has displaced hundreds of thousands. Around 64,000 Malian refugees, including 39,000 children, are now living in a refugee camp at M’Bera in the far south-eastern corner of Mauritania. The camp is now the largest settlement in the district, three times larger than the capital Bassikunou.
Haiti, with support from UNICEF and partners, begins intensive efforts to improve children's health
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 22 May 2012 – Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population has accelerated vaccination efforts throughout the country, part of a broader package of intensive activities promoting children’s health. These interventions are supported by UNICEF and its national and international partners, including the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Field Diary: Clean water improves health and education for children in Cerritos II, Honduras
LEPAERA, Honduras, 21 May 2012 – “Before, we had to go very early to collect spring water. We walked for a long time to the spring and home again. Then, there were times when we got sick,” said 12-year-old Selvin Hernandez. “But now everything has changed.”
Ewan McGregor issues appeal for the children of the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 21 May 2012 – As aid agencies warn of a major funding shortage for the crisis in the Sahel, actor and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor has added his voice to those calling for more help for the region.
Fighting child sexual abuse in the Caribbean
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 18 May 2012 – A nine-year old boy was systematically raped by his pastor while his mother was at work; an 18-month old baby boy died of internal damage after being raped by his uncle; a little girl was infected with gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes and HIV by an uncle who was in and out of prison.
As nutrition crisis intensifies, Nigerien mothers struggle to save their children
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 May 2012 – In the nutrition ward of Niamey’s regional hospital, all the beds are full of children showing the familiar signs of severe acute malnutrition: severe wasting, skins stretched tight over bones. The room is silent except for the noise of a small fan and the occasional cry of a child.
In Maldives, UNICEF supports efforts by the government to fight malnutrition
MAAFUSHI, Maldives, 17 May 2012 – Fathimath Nafsa takes her 2-year-old son Ismail Nashiu to the local health center on Maafushi Island for a check-up. The doctors want to monitor his growth because he is malnourished and underweight. His mother is concerned that Ismail may not grow to his full potential.
In Benin, health extension workers bring care closer to home, saving lives
KETOU, Benin, 17 May 2012 – Malaria strikes one of Lucia Bognonsa's children about twice a year. When it does, she has a number of options: She can buy a remedy from the village herbalist. She can purchase tablets from unregistered ‘mobile pharmacists’, tradesmen who travel by bicycle or motorbike selling drugs. She can also take the child to a hospital 3 km away, where treatment is free. But her preferred choice is to call her neighbour, a 65-year old subsistence farmer.
Partnership helps restore public services in rural Sri Lanka
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, 15 May 2012 – It’s the morning rounds of the village mothers’ support group. Today, they’re visiting one of the poorest families in this remote village in eastern Sri Lanka.
Ghana Health Service and UNICEF encourage mothers to deliver with help from skilled birth attendants
TAMALE, Ghana, 14 May 2012 – Midwife Doris Azuma Bugri was sitting on the veranda of the Moglaa clinic, in northern Ghana, when she saw a pregnant woman walk into a compound across the street.
Teaming up to turn the tide against malnutrition in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 11 May 2012 – Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition are mainstays of everyday life for thousands of families in Niger. Following the failed rains and poor harvests of 2011, the country is now in the midst of its third nutrition crisis since 2005.
Community health workers provide crucial health services in Ghana's remote communities
TAMALE, Ghana, 9 May 2012 – One morning about 10 years ago, Afakiba Azure’s daughter, Ndepoka, started vomiting. She did not stop for three days. On the fourth day, Ms. Azure strapped the 10-year-old girl to her back and walked 10 hours to the nearest hospital. But in spite of the nurses’ efforts, Ndepoka died.
Community-led sanitation saves lives in rural Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 8 May 2012 – “It was a night in April,” explained Annour. “Our child began to vomit and have diarrhoea repeatedly. We gave him water, thinking that it would pass, but it went on. No one in the village health centre knew what it was, so we decided the next morning to take him to the hospital in N'Djamena – but he died on the way.”
Ten years after the historic UN Special Session on children, UNICEF marks progress in creating 'A World Fit for Children'
NEW YORK, USA, 7 May 2012 – This week, UNICEF commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of ‘A World Fit for Children’, a United Nations document committing the world’s nations to advancing the rights, welfare and dignity of children everywhere.
Social media campaign offers critical support to breastfeeding mothers in China
BEIJING, China, 4 May 2012 – When Xiaoyu Su, from Fujian Province, tried to convince her parents that her newborn daughter should be fed breastmilk and nothing else, she was criticized for being stubborn. Nevertheless, Ms. Su is proud that she managed to exclusively breastfeed her daughter for the first 6 months of life.
Preventing and treating malnutrition in DR Congo
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 May 2012 – “I am grateful for the miracle that happened to us,” said Mariam. Three weeks ago, she arrived at the therapeutic feeding unit in Camp Vangu, in Lumumbashi, carrying her 11-month-old daughter, Elaine. The little girl was too weak to even open her eyes.
Hunger a daily reality for South Sudan's children
TORIT, South Sudan, 2 May 2012 – There was only sorghum for lunch, but it didn’t make the preparation any simpler. In Illeu, a small town in Eastern Equatoria State, Anorina Kabaka first had to bring a bucket full of sorghum grain to be ground into flour. While waiting for the sorghum to be ground, she plucked tamarind nuts, which she would soak in water to flavour the meal. Once she had returned home, she lit a fire, set a pot of water to boil, and mixed the flour into a thick porridge.
Field diary: Journey to recovery from severe acute malnutrition in Niger
AGUIE, Niger, 1 May 2012 – Two-and-half year old Oumarou Seydou sat motionless in his mother’s arms. He was not smiling or crying. He did not move.
UNICEF partners with Viet Nam’s National Assembly to protect breastfeeding
DA NANG, Viet Nam, 1 May 2012 – In a record move to protect the breastfeeding rights of women and children, UNICEF and the National Assembly’s Institute of Legislative Studies have concluded a series of high-level consultative meetings in Viet Nam’s coastal city of Da Nang.
Q&A with Professor Michael Golden: Tackling malnutrition in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 30 April 2012 – In the world of nutrition, Professor Michael Golden is something of a celebrity. Mr. Golden is famous for his work in developing Formula 100 (F-100), the basis for therapeutic foods that treat malnutrition.
Manual drilling stations bring safe drinking water to Guinea's Boffa region
CONAKRY, Guinea, 27 April 2012 – The plains of Boffa are a sea of green – and yet there is no drinkable water here.
Ghana launches vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhoea, the country's biggest child killers
ACCRA, Ghana, 27 April 2012 – Alimatu Mohammed drove for three hours on a rattling minibus to get her son treated for severe diarrhoea at a hospital this week.
In post-flood Pakistan, 'Children's Fairs' entertain while promoting child rights and health
BADIN DISTRICT, Pakistan, 27 April 2012 – Thousands of flood-affected children and families have learned new life skills and enjoyed a much-needed reprieve from the stresses of post-flood life at a series of UNICEF-supported Children’s Fairs taking place in some of the worst flood-affected districts of Sindh province.
Cross-border immunization programme protects Namibians and Angolans
OSHIKANGO, Namibia, 26 April 2012 – The Namibian-Angolan border post at Oshikango is hectic on a normal afternoon. Since the conflict in Angola ended, trade between Namibia and Angola has flourished.
On World Malaria Day, DR Congo launches a mass distribution of mosquito nets
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 April 2012 – Today, on World Malaria Day 2012, a new mass campaign was launched, aiming to distribute 13.7 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to help protect people against malaria.
UNICEF Executive Director announces new global immunization strategy
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2012 – This week, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, alongside partners in the newly renamed Measles and Rubella Initiative, launched a new global strategy aimed at reducing measles deaths and congenital rubella syndrome to zero.
Slow but steady results in Angola’s fight against malaria
LUANDA, Angola, 25 April 2012 – Today, 25 April, is World Malaria Day, an event that calls attention to the critical need bring malaria under control.
In DR Congo, polio survivors advocate on behalf of immunization efforts
BAS-CONGO, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 24 April 2012 – Roger Vuanda Movita was only 2 years old when polio took away his ability to walk.
UPS helps UNICEF deliver life-saving supplies to drought-hit Mauritania
Nouakchott, Mauritania, 23 April 2012 – At 10:40 Sunday morning, a UPS flight carrying 46,000 kg of live-saving UNICEF supplies touched down in Nouakchott, Mauritania. It was the first dedicated cargo flight of UNICEF supplies shipped to Mauritania, donated by UPS in cooperation with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo supports World Immunization Week
NEW YORK, USA, 23 April 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo is supporting the first-ever World Immunization Week, an international effort to highlight the importance of immunization.
In Pakistan, religious leaders help change misconceptions about the polio vaccine
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 20 April 2012 – A sermon by an imam is all it takes to change misconceptions about the polio vaccines in some communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, in northwest Pakistan. A brief talk by the religious leader reassures everyone that no harm – medical, social or religious – comes from the life-saving vaccine.
In Central African Republic, polio eradication is a national priority
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 April 2012 – At 7 a.m. one Sunday, the Mamadou-Mbaiki Heath Centre is buzzing with activity. Insulated boxes are being filled with cooling packs and polio vaccines. Vaccination teams – consisting of a vaccinator, a social mobilization specialist and a volunteer – are preparing to depart, getting an early start to the third day of the three-day National Polio Vaccination campaign.
Scaling-up Integrated Community Case Management in Niger and Mali
MADAROUNFA, Niger, and KITA, Mali, 18 April 2012 – Globally, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria are the main killers of children, accounting for more than 40 per cent of child deaths. And in certain countries of sub-Saharan Africa, these diseases kill an even greater proportion of children. In Niger and Mali for example, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria cause 60 per cent of deaths among children under age 5, and malnutrition is an underlying cause in one third of child deaths.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits Niger, calls for swift action on crisis in the Sahel
MARADI/NIAMEY, Niger, 13 April 2012 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt called for urgent and enhanced action to save the lives of over one million children at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition across the Sahel region. Ms. Brandt recently visited Niger, where an estimated 394,000 under-5 children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year.
In Chad, UNICEF and partners step up emergency response to food crisis
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 April 2012 – Khadija’s 6-month-old son, Nawal, had been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for days, but she thought it was related to his teething. Finally, when his fever did not go down, she brought him to a clinic in N’Djamena, where he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.
Micronutrient Days fight Viet Nam’s 'hidden hunger'
BINH THANH TRUNG, Viet Nam, 11 April 2012 – It is 7 a.m. and Binh Thanh Trung commune’s health centre is buzzing. Today is Micronutrient Day and over 700 children are expected to participate.
South Sudan faces challenges providing maternal and child health care
TORIT, South Sudan, 10 April 2012 – It was a busy morning in the maternity ward of Torit Civil Hospital, Eastern Equatoria State. Three newborns were welcomed into the world, all in good health. Surrounded by family members, Lugina Michael let out a sigh of relief.
Families in Mali struggle to feed themselves as the crisis in the Sahel worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 9 April 2012 – It’s dinner time in the fishing village of Tako, and Mariam Dianapo is worried about how to feed her five hungry children.
In Uganda, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake addresses malnutrition at the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union
KAMPALA, Uganda, 5 April 2012 – An estimated 180 million children across the globe are stunted, the outcome of chronic nutritional deficiency during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
In Nigeria, the Polio Free Torch campaign aims to make the country polio-free
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 5 April 2012 – “I want to call on our brothers and sisters… to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue,” announced Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State, at the state launch of the Polio Free Torch campaign in the city of Maiduguri.
In Uganda, UNICEF Executive Director Lake sees innovation in action, calls on global community to combat undernutrition
KAMPALA, Uganda, 4 April 2012 – The power of innovation to tackle major challenges took centre stage during UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake’s visit to Kampala this week.
UNICEF supports a massive measles and polio vaccination campaign in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 3 April 2012 – Mohammed Abdulkarim Saeed and his two sons, 1-month-old Yusuf and 18-month-old Ibrahim, eagerly awaited the launch of the second phase of the national measles and polio campaign in Sana’a.
In a major policy shift, mothers in South Africa are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed instead of using formula
DURBAN, South Africa, 30 March 2012 – South Africa has some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in the world. Over a decade ago, to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding, the Government of South Africa rolled out a policy providing free infant formula for all HIV-positive mothers.
In Pakistan, the 'United Against Polio' football tournament fights the scourge of polio
KARACHI, Pakistan, 29 March 2012 – Amid cheers, the Frontier Mujahid team takes their victory lap. The football team has just defeated National Frontier 2-1 in the final, beating 15 other teams to win the trophy.
UNICEF assists families in tent cities after Tropical Storm Washi
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines, 28 March 2012 – Gina Ayop, 28, lives in a tent city on the outskirts of Cagayan de Oro with her husband and four children, including 3-year-old Mark Angelo. The family lost their home in Tibasak, Macasandig, during the flash floods that followed Tropical Storm Washi last December. They were lucky to escape with their lives.
Mobile health teams bring medical care to pastoralists in remote regions of Ethiopia
MAYOMULUKO, Ethiopia, 26 March 2012 – As a new day breaks in Mayomuluko, in Fik Zone of Ethiopia’s Somali Region, health professionals loads their vehicle with supplies for the nomadic pastoralists who live in this remote district, where infrastructure and access to basic services are scarce.
UNICEF and partners prepare for the worst of the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 26 March 2012 – A time bomb is ticking in the Sahel. April marks the beginning of the region’s lean season. It rains only once a year in the Sahel, an arid region that stretches across eight countries in West-Central Africa.
In DR Congo, a UNICEF programme is empowering communities to improve water and sanitation
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 23 March 2012 – Years of civil war have limited progress in improving health and sanitation services throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, half the population of 66 million still has no access to clean water sources, and one out of every five children under age 5 suffers from persistent diarrhoea.
In Niger, refugees from Mali are assisted with clean drinking water
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 22 March 2012 – For the displaced families in the Mangaizé settlement site, located in a dry, empty stretch of the Sahel, access to clean drinking water is a matter of survival. Over 35,000 refugees and returnees have come to Niger seeking safety from the ongoing fighting in northern Mali.
UNICEF Executive Board visits Fiji and Solomon Islands, assessing UNICEF's work in the Pacific Islands
GIZO, Solomon Islands, 22 March 2012 – The white sand beaches and emerald green waters of Solomon Islands offer the perfect setting for a holiday – but the islanders who live here are freighted with worries.
Podcast #55: What does achieving the MDG target on water mean for schoolchildren?
NEW YORK, USA, 21 March – UNICEF and the World Health Organization recently announced that the world had met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Focus on water, sanitation and hygiene improves child health and nutrition in Pakistan
MUZAFFARGARH DISTRICT, Punjab, Pakistan, 21 March 2012 – Inside a dusty farm house compound in rural Punjab, 7-year-old Ume Hani helps her aunt Ume Hassan, 16, prepare flat bread. Ume Hassan sits on the ground, dipping her hands in clean water as she kneads the dough.
In post-flood Philippines, UNICEF provides crucial help on the ground
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines, 20 March 2012 – Twelve-year-old Hannah Monsalan lives in Mandulog, one of the villages worst-hit by the flash floods that swept through northern Mindanao in December, following Tropical Storm Washi. The equivalent of one month’s rain fell overnight, swelling the Mandulog river to a destructive torrent, which crushed hundreds of families’ homes.
In Rwanda, a clinic provides comprehensive care to young people living with HIV
KIGALI, Rwanda, 19 March 2012 – Ange*, 15, still feels sad when she remembers that she has HIV.
After storm and floods in the Philippines, school helps children return to normalcy
ILIGAN, Philippines, 16 March 2012 – Ten-year-old Joy Crizelle lives with her grandfather, sister, two aunts and uncles, and a nephew in a small one-room hut at an evacuation centre in Barangay Mandulog, in Iligan. Their village was one of the worst affected by the flash floods that followed Tropical Storm Washi in December.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits Chad for the launch of a massive polio immunization campaign
MOUNDOU/N'DJAMENA, Chad, 13 March 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow recently visited Chad to attend the launch of a massive polio immunization campaign and to raise awareness of the importance of ending polio transmission once and for all.
In Niger, UNICEF and partners address the Sahel Region's looming food crisis
OUALLAM/ NIAMEY, Niger, 13 March 2012 – When Zelika, 2, was admitted to a hospital three weeks ago with severe acute malnutrition, her odds of survival were low. But her life was saved after intensive nutritional and medical care in a treatment centre in Ouallam.
Members of the Bureau of UNICEF's Executive Board assess programmes and progress in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO/JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 12 March 2012 – Families of children who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s 27-year-long conflict wait for news of their lost ones outside a UNICEF-funded Family Tracing and Reunification Centre (FTR) in the northern town of Mullaitivu.
UNICEF supports children and women displaced by insecurity in north-western Pakistan
JALOZAI CAMP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, 9 March 2012 – Ongoing insecurity in north-western Pakistan has caused thousands to flee their homes. Families are streaming into Jalozai Camp seeking shelter, support and food.
In Benin, help for women confronting HIV and stigma
ABOMEY, Benin, 8 March 2012 – “Shh! Please, there should be no mention of 'it' in the street,” said 20-year-old Leonie Sossou* as she led visitors to her home.
UNICEF and partners battle persistent child malnutrition in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 7 March 2012 – After the January 2010 earthquake destroyed homes and infrastructure in Port-au-Prince, a number of displaced families moved to an old private airstrip in the Carrefour neighbourhood, setting up tents between old planes and helicopters.
Millennium Development Goal target on drinking water met
NEW YORK, USA, 6 March 2012 – The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well ahead of the MDG 2015 deadline.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends Angola’s first polio eradication campaign of the year
LUANDA, Angola, 2 March 2012 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the first polio eradication campaign of 2012 in Angola this week . Community health workers and volunteers are mobilizing to vaccinate more than six million children under the age of five throughout the country.
India no longer a polio-endemic country
NEW DELHI, India, 1 March 2012 – On Saturday, 25 February, 2012, India was officially struck off the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization (WHO), having gone more than one year without reporting any cases of wild poliovirus. India’s success leaves only three countries in the world considered polio-endemic – meaning they have never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus transmission – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
In Ukraine, providing holistic health care to sexually exploited adolescents and other at-risk youth
MYKOLAYIV, Ukraine, 27 February 2012 – Anya* does not talk much about her teen years in Mykolayiv, one of the most populous cities in southern Ukraine . She desperately wants to forget the days of fighting with her grandfather, who was her only surviving relative after her parents died, and what happened after she was thrown out of the house.
Zimbabwe’s Health Transition Fund receives a ₤50 million boost to save women’s and children’s lives
CHIPINGE, Zimbabwe, 23 February 2012 – In a move to reverse the high maternal and child mortality rates in Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom has strengthened its partnership with UNICEF Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare by announcing a ₤50 million (US$78.4 million) injection into the Health Transition Fund, a fund geared towards strengthening health systems to ultimately save the lives of more than 30,000 children under age 5 and pregnant women.
In Chad, promoting immunization to fight deadly measles
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 21 February 2012 – During the second phase of a measles immunization campaign, in early February, vaccinators were hard at work immunizing long lines of waiting children.
In Haiti, a radio programme entertains while encouraging healthy behaviors
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 17 February 2012 – People crowded into a Tap Tap, Haiti’s most popular form of public transportation, nod their heads and smile at the conversation pouring out of the speakers.
In Chad, clean and sustainable water and sanitation systems keep families safe from disease
N'DJAMENA, Chad, 17 February 2012 – While N'Djamena, the capital of Chad, bakes in the midday heat, Aisha Adoum uses the harsh sun to dry tomatoes, ochre and berries for the market. It is the dry season here, with dust coating everything. Children find relief playing in the low and polluted lakes and rivers, alongside carpet washers.
In Zimbabwe, improving water systems to safeguard children's health
SHURUGWI, Zimbabwe, 16 February 2012 – Emily Butau used to wake up every day dreading the task of collecting water for her family. After sending her three children off to school, she would embark on a long journey to find and then carry home water.
In Mauritania, help needed to protect children from emerging malnutrition crisis
GAET TEIDOUMA, Mauritania, 15 February 2012 – Each year, the period between the rains and the new harvest is a lean season, when mothers like Fatima Mohammed struggle to feed their children – in Ms. Mohammed’s case, seven of them.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits malnourished children in Chad
MAO, Chad, 15 February 2012 – A layer of dust cloaks the horizon around Mao, a town in Western Chad, deep in the Sahel region of Africa. Rain hasn't fallen in years, and four seasons of crops have failed. Animals have long been dying here, but lately, children have too.
In Niger, working to reach every child in the fight against polio
KAOURA ALLASSAN, Niger, 13 February 2012 – February 4 saw the launch of a three-day polio immunization campaign, known as Subnational Immunization Days. Children in 21 districts were targeted for vaccination against the paralyzing, and potentially fatal, polio virus.
In Niger, urgent measures needed to fight malnutrition among children
MARADI, Niger, 13 February 2012 – Four-year-old Bassira was motionless in her hospital bed while a tube running through her nose delivered nutrient-rich therapeutic milk to her body – treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
Improving water and sanitation in Haiti’s schools
PORT-AU –PRINCE, Haiti, 7 February 2012 – Eighteen-year-old Yves Nolly Lindor is teaching students at Pétion-ville National School about the importance of improved sanitation.
Food shortages force children to drop out of school in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 6 February 2012 – The effect of food insecurity on children’s health is obvious; children, particularly those under age 5, are vulnerable to life-threatening malnutrition.
Buddhist monks and UNICEF join to improve the lives of vulnerable families
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 6 February 2012 – Cheng Sophea dropped to the ground with her son and bowed in a gesture of respect as Khun Khat arrived at her home in Kampong Speu Province, several hours outside Phnom Penh.
Alarming outbreak of cholera in the Central African Republic begins to subside
BANGUI and NDIMBA, Central African Republic, 3 February 2012 – Véronique Yassambatendji was awakened late one night in October when her husband began experiencing severe diarrhoea and vomiting. The 30-year-old mother of four brought him directly to the local health centre in Ndimba, where he was treated with oral rehydration salts.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF expands a nutrition treatment center for severely malnourished children
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 1 February 2012 - About 100 malnourished children are admitted each month in the Bangui Paediatric Hospital, many of them requiring three to four weeks of treatment.
'Smart salt' reduces iodine deficiency in Ghana
BOLGATANGA, Ghana, 26 January 2012 – Joseph Opoku pointed to a plastic container in the local restaurant, called a chop bar, belonging to his grandmother, Gertrude Azasim. “That is the smartest salt in Ghana,” he said.
In areas once affected by famine, Ethiopia builds capacity to wipe out malnutrition
GETER MEDA, Ethiopia, 24 January 2012 – Seven-month-old Aynadis played with her mother, Seta Temesgen, as they waited to be screened at the Geter Meda Health Post. Several weeks ago, Aynadis was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition – a condition that can be deadly if untreated.
Vaccinating children in Haiti’s hardest-to-reach communities
CAP HAITIAN, Haiti, 23 January 2012 – It doesn’t take an earthquake to kill a child. More often, children are killed by something much less dramatic, and much more insidious: disease.
In Rwanda, community-based nutrition programmes are empowering communities to treat and prevent malnutrition
Gisenyi, Western Province, Rwanda, 23 January 2012 - In the busy lakeside town of Gisenyi, a UNICEF-supported therapeutic nutrition rehabilitation unit is helping give babies a healthy start in life.
In Uzbekistan, expanding health care to the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach
KARAKALPAKSTAN, Uzbekistan, 20 January 2012 – In the remote Khujayli District of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, the Saparova family can often be found in a traditional yurt at the back of the house, escaping the worst of the summer heat.
In Rwanda, successfully fighting a resurgence of malaria
NYAMATA, Rwanda, 19 January 2012 – Across Rwanda, children are benefiting from faster malaria diagnosis, the widespread distribution of nets, and the diligence of hospital and health centre staffs determined to keep malaria in check.
Malnourished children receive help at UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in North Darfur, Sudan
EL FASHER, North Darfur State, Sudan, 18 January 2012 – Abu Badriya is a soft-spoken man with a face that lights up when he smiles. A traditional healer, or ‘faki’, by profession, he has become an unusual but important partner in the fight against child malnutrition in this part of Darfur.
In Haiti, an unprecedented expansion in nutrition services for children and women
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 January 2012 – In two cramped UNICEF tents in the middle of the General Hospital, Head Nurse Bluette Jean-Louis and Dr. Josiane Andrianarisoa attend to severely malnourished children. Many of them are ill.
Life-saving action against cholera in DR Congo
MBANDAKA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16 January 2012 – “At the beginning I thought she had just diarrhea, but when she didn’t stop vomiting I took her to the hospital, where they told me it might be cholera,” said Getou Bofala, 35.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake lauds the role of women and children during Nepal visit
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 13 January 2012 – On his first visit to Nepal, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake lauded the role played by Nepalese women and children in trying to better their lives.
After Pakistan’s floods, mobile teams bring health messages to villagers
BADIN DISTRICT, Pakistan, 13 January 2012 – Andraj, 11, looks up at a familiar sound. His eyes brighten and, without pausing to put on his shoes, he dashes barefoot out of his house.
Marking its first year without any polio cases, India takes a giant leap toward wiping out the disease
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2012 – Once recognized as the epicenter of the polio epidemic, India is now on the verge of creating history by stopping the transmission of polio.
Nutrition surveillance keeps malnutrition at bay in Peru
LIMA, Peru, 9 January 2012 – In the Andean community of Rosaspata, in Vinchos District, a community health promoter has invited children, their parents and a health centre representative to the local community hall for the area’s biweekly nutrition surveillance programme.
Increasing local capacity to end child malnutrition in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 4 January 2012 – More than 40 women, most of them cradling babies, sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the small waiting room of the Martissant Community Clinic. By day’s end, more than 150 women will arrive to see the clinic’s medical or nutrition staff.
UNICEF plans major expansion of global vaccine programme
NEW YORK, USA, 3 January 2012 – UNICEF is preparing ambitious plans to update, strengthen and vastly expand its global vaccination programme.
UNICEF in 2011: The year in review
NEW YORK, 30 December 2011 – From famine in the Horn of Africa to flooding in Pakistan and uprisings across the Middle East, 2011 was a challenging year for families in the developing world.
The Government of Japan has announced a pledge of US$9.3 million to fund polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 29 December 2011 – Meeting at the immunization centre of the Indira Ghandi Hospital in bustling Kabul on 10 December, representatives of the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNICEF announced the Government of Japan’s pledge of US$9.3 million to fund an infectious disease prevention programme for the children of Afghanistan.
Northern Ghana remains vigilant against Guinea worm
DIARE, Ghana , 28 December 2011 – Azaratu Zakaria once limped unnoticed through the dusty lanes of her village. Now she is approached by strangers who call her an ambassador – something which she, as a woman with a disability in rural Ghana, never thought possible.
In Ethiopia, bringing child pneumonia deaths down to zero
OROMIA REGION, Ethiopia, 27 December 2011 – One-year-old Kedir Mudi and his mother, Alemnesh Gerefa, play in the waiting area of the health post in Derer Ebija, a rural village in Oromia Region. Only three months ago, this happy toddler came dangerously close to death after contracting pneumonia, one of the leading killers of children in Ethiopia.
In India, campaign appeals to caregivers to vaccinate children against polio
MUMBAI, India, 19 December 2011 – Launching a new polio eradication campaign, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan appealed to parents and caregivers throughout the country to take advantage of the opportunity to “make polio history in India.”
Campaign promoting the inclusion of children with disabilities yields positive results in Montenegro
PODGORICA, Montenegro, 15 December, 2011 – This week, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Igor Luksic and UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks unveiled the impact of a groundbreaking campaign promoting the inclusion of children with disabilities into society.
Expanding basic health services to children and women in Mali
NEW YORK, USA, 13 December 2011 – The roar of a motorbike heralds the arrival of health workers in a remote village in Kayes District, Mali. They are bringing life-saving medical supplies to communities that lack easy access to health care.
Threat of malnutrition dire in Africa's Sahel region due to increasing food shortages
DAKAR, Senegal, 12 December 2011 – It’s not a tsunami or an earthquake – it is a predictable emergency. UNICEF estimates more than a million children under five will need to be treated in feeding centres for severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. It is a staggeringly high number, and there is little time to prepare.
UNICEF and SAACID promote exclusive breastfeeding in Somalia's drought-affected communities
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 December 2011 – Nawaal Mohamed Nur, a 34-year-old mother of nine in the Shingani District of Mogadishu, has had a harrowing several months. In June of this year, her daughter Amira was diagnosed with acute malnutrition.
In Sudan, protecting every child against the menace of polio
KHARTOUM, Sudan, 6 December 2011 – Rahma Sid Ahmed pores over a roughly drawn pencil map that will help her locate children under age five. She is part of a team of vaccinators who have come to the Al Shagara neighbourhood, in southern Khartoum, to immunize all children under five against the crippling polio virus.
Lao PDR takes a swipe at measles and rubella
VIENTIANE PROVINCE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 8 December 2011 – The sound of a gong from a nearby temple echoes in the distance as morning approaches. The sky is still dark, but it’s not too early for Ms. Kongkeo, a nurse in the district hospital, who has been awake for hours. She and her team are preparing for another day of immunizations targeting children between ages 9 months and 19 years in the surrounding areas.
Field diary: Marsupials are model mums in Ghana
TAMALE, Ghana, 7 December 2011 – Kangaroos were the last thing I expected to be discussing with my new colleagues when I arrived in West Africa last month. When I moved from Australia to Tamale to write about UNICEF’s work there, I had braced myself for the unfamiliar – villages of squat mud huts, gritty harmattan winds and the crackled sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer.
Measles infection rates on the decline after successful vaccination campaign in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 28 November 2011—Weaving between makeshift huts of plastic sheeting, health workers urgently knock on every door in Mogadishu: “Today’s the day!” they say, “Vaccination day!”
Ahead of World AIDS day, UNICEF marks the progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS
NEW YORK, United States, 23 November 2011- A radiant smile lights up Agness Chabu’s face as she cuddles Lackson, her 23-month-old son at home in Zambia. Agnes has good reason to feel joyful. She and her son have gone through many months of care to protect the little boy from mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Now, health workers have confirmed that Lackson is free of the virus.
In wake of the floods, malnutrition threatens thousands of children in Pakistan
JAMSHORO, Pakistan, 21 November 2011 – Mohammad Ali, of Southern Pakistan, is not the world famous boxing legend, but a true fighter nonetheless. This Mohammad Ali is just two-and-a-half-years-old and from a small village outside of Jamshoro in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. He is winning his struggle to survive after nearly succumbing to health complications associated with severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF aims to make nutrition a national priority in Niger
Kollo, Niger, 17 November 2011 – In the Integrated Health Center of Kollo, South Niger, a few women holding their emaciated babies line up in front of the out-patient therapeutic feeding center (CRENAS). Zelika Marou has four children. Today, she brought her 11-month-old daughter, Fati Hama, for her weekly consultation.
UNICEF-supported sanitation and hygiene initiatives improving living conditions in Uganda
KYENJOJO, Uganda, 11 November, 2011 - Selegio Kamihanda used to worry a lot about his family getting sick from worms and diarrhoea, but all this is changing for the better, he says, as he waves to his grandchildren while standing in the morning light in his compound. Selegio, a father and grandfather, lives in the Kyangabukama village, a place set among densely planted banana trees and rolling hills in Kyenjojo District, western Uganda. The village is among 16 ‘model villages’ in the district that have implemented a community-led sanitation approach for improved hygiene and sanitary behaviours with UNICEF’s support.
In Angola, community health workers help in the fight against malaria
LUANDA PROVINCE, Angola, 14 November 2011 – When two of her daughters came down with a fever, Conceição Antonió, 28, didn’t think of malaria at first, despite the fact that it’s the number-one killer of children in Angola. In fact, children under five years of age comprise 52 per cent of all deaths from malaria nationwide.
UNICEF-supported mosquito net distribution campaign helps fight malaria in Guinea Bissau
GUINEA BISSAU, Bissau, 8 November 2011 - Mosquito-borne malaria is one of the principal causes of death, underweight babies, and premature births in Guinea Bissau. To help fight this deadly scourge, the Ministry of Health, with UNICEF support, ran a mosquito net distribution campaign last week, which aimed to provide one net for every two people across Guinea Bissau – over 880,000.
Medical supplies reach Kenya, with help from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
NEW YORK, United States, 4 November 2011 - More than 40,000 kilogrammes of medical supplies, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark helped to pack at the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen on Wednesday, have reached their destination in Nairobi, Kenya.
Zimbabwe launches health transition fund to revitalize care for children and women
MARONDERA, Zimbabwe, 2 November 2011 — In a move to revitalise Zimbabwe’s ailing health system, the Government, in partnership with UNICEF and international donors, has launched the Health Transition Fund to reduce the country’s high maternal and child mortality rates.
Disaster readiness training for the children of Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 2 November 2011 – At the Kimyogar summer camp, in the Tashkent region of Uzbekistan, a boy winced with pain as a nurse applied a bandage to his arm. Around them, a group of children watched intently, listening as the nurse explained how to attend to his injury.
Q&A with UNICEF Somalia’s Hannan Sulieman: ‘It’s about children, no matter where they are’
NAIROBI, Kenya, 31 October 2011 – In a recent conversation with UNICEF.org, Hannan Sulieman, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Somalia, described the daunting challenges that face Somali children and families amidst the Horn of Africa’s worst drought crisis in decades.
World leaders join Bill Gates in $122 million pledge for polio eradication
PERTH, Australia, 31 October 2011 – World leaders from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria and Pakistan joined Bill Gates on Saturday in pledging $122 million in new funds to help deliver a polio-free world.
Crisis continues 100 days after famine was declared in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 28 OCTOBER 2011 – Just two months ago, three-year-old Moktar Mohamed was on the verge of death. After his parents lost their livestock and crops to the drought, they travelled by foot and truck from Middle Shabelle to Mogadishu, a trek of over 100 kilometres.
Lao lathers up for Global Handwashing Day
VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 25 October 2011 – In a crowded courtyard, rows of children lather their hands, scrubbing in unison and reciting the steps to proper handwashing. The activity, punctuated by peals of laughter, is part of a day-long event celebrating the fourth annual Global Handwashing Day.
Immunizing millions of children to eradicate polio in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 October 2011 – The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with support from UNICEF and partners, recently concluded a massive campaign seeking to immunize more than 14 million children under age five against polio.
On World Polio Day, UNICEF launches new website focusing on global immunization strategies
NEW YORK, USA, 24 October 2011 – Following a dramatic 95 per cent reduction in polio cases last year in Nigeria, the disease is once again on the rise – in large part because of lingering community resistance to polio immunization. To address this resistance, the country recently launched the Polio Free Torch Campaign. Supported by the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) and a number of Nigerian Olympians, the campaign aims to mobilize wide support for the polio eradication efforts currently being made in Nigeria.
UNICEF's week-long handwashing campaign reaches 1,500,000 people across Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 24 October 2011 – Last week, millions of people across the globe commemorated Global Handwashing Day by celebrating the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective, simple, and affordable way to prevent disease. In Somalia, UNICEF and partners marked the event with a week-long series of events, including the installation of handwashing facilities in numerous health centres and schools throughout the country.
Syria launches national ‘catch-up’ immunization drive amid continued unrest
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 October 2011- When the civil unrest began in Syria last march, the small agricultural town of Daraya was one of the first to be impacted. Due to the resulting insecurity, access to the health centers where routine immunization was usually provided became severely limited.
UNICEF-supported programme brings hope to severely malnourished children in Viet Nam
KON TUM, Viet Nam, 13 October 2011 – Two-year-old A-Thau lives with his family in a simple house in a remote village in Kon Tum – a central highland province of Viet Nam. The smallest of six children, he is mainly looked after by his elder siblings, as his parents are too busy working in the fields to care for him all the time. Low birth weight and a lack of nutritious food resulted in recurrent illness and when his parents eventually brought him to the district hospital with a high fever and breathing difficulties, he was diagnosed as having pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition.
Second round in measles vaccination campaign allows children to ‘catch-up’ in India
DABHIPUR, India, 11 October 2011- In November of 2010, the Government of India, supported by UNICEF and WHO together with other Measles Initiative partners, launched the measles ‘catch-up’ campaign with the aim of reaching 134 million children in 14 high risk Indian states, to prevent an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 child deaths annually. Recently, the second dose of the measles vaccine was administered to children at outreach sites all across the country, and for those who missed out on their first scheduled dose at nine months, they were given a chance to ‘catch up’ with those children who have already received it.
UNICEF and ECHO aim to prevent waterborne disease in Togo, by promoting safe hygiene practices
LOMÉ, Togo, 10 October 2011 - In October 2010, Togo experienced heavy seasonal rains which caused flooding in most parts of the country. Affecting more than 82, 000 people, the southern region of Maritime was amongst the hardest hit, as floods severely damaged agricultural land and water systems in the areas surrounding the capital city of Lomé.
Donors aim to provide Sri Lanka with a brighter future through investment in its children
VAVUNIYA, Northern Sri Lanka, 10 October 2011- In a region which, until recently, had been mired in conflict, the joyful sound of high-pitched laughter danced in the air, as an audience of rapt children enthusiastically responded to the travelling company ‘Clowns without Borders’. Charming the gathering of youth with their engaging brand of slapstick and puppetry, the troupe was there to help celebrate the opening of a new school.
UNICEF-supported campaign aims to immunize millions of children against polio in Côte d’Ivoire
GRAND-BASSAM, Côte d’Ivoire, 6 October 2011 – Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Health and AIDS control, Professor Thérèse N’dri Yoman, recently launched a four-day nationwide UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign, with the aim of immunizing seven million children under the age of five against polio.
UNICEF sends in health experts to prevent cholera epidemic in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 3 October 2011 - In a small classroom in Mogadishu, over twenty qualified Somali nurses, men and women are gathering tools to fight cholera and acute watery diarrhoea.
In Burundi, interactive theatre empowers local communities in the fight against malaria
NGOZI, Burundi, 3 October 2011 - “Give it back! You will not sell this! Malaria is killing our babies!” screams a young woman, as she engages in a passionate tug-of-war with her father over a blue plastic bag. A crowd of onlookers quickly gather around the duo, offering up their cheers, laughter and enthusiastic applause.
Eight million children vaccinated against measles and rubella during national campaign in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 29 September 2011 - Eight million children were vaccinated against measles and rubella (MR) recently, during a week-long campaign in Uzbekistan. With the aim to protect all children between the ages of one and 14 years, against the two highly contagious diseases, vaccination points were opened in all primary health facilities, schools, preschools, and orphanages across the country.
In Côte d’Ivoire, a young rape victim regains self-confidence with UNICEF support
BOUAKÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 28 September 2011 – The first day of school should be an exciting time, full of expectancy and hope. Sadly, for young Tamira* it only manages to bring back the horrifying memory of a brutal rape she endured last October, just steps away from her grandmother’s house.
Large scale effort underway to totally eradicate malaria in Mozambique
NHAMADZI, Mozambique, 28 September 2011 – Under the shade of a tree in deep rural Mozambique, nurse Sonia Tomocene is speaking to a small gathering about malaria prevention. Before her, pregnant women and young children sit on simple reed mats and listen to her advice attentively.
New programme aims to stop the transmission of polio in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 23 September 2011 – Chad’s fight to eradicate polio has become a national emergency as the number of registered polio cases has risen to over 90 to date this year.
Achieving equity through early childhood development
MDANTSANE, South Africa, 23 September 2011 - Just 19-years-old and already a mother of two, Thandeka Sqoko lives in the two-room home of her boyfriend, with his parents and four siblings. Her own mother kicked her out when she became pregnant. Thandeka’s day ends at 11pm, 18 hours after it began. Well before sunrise she gets her two babies ready, prepares breakfast and cleans the house. On her way to school, she drops off her one-month old, Ithandile, and two-year old, Lethokuhle, at a day care centre.
Field diary: A safety net for the most vulnerable families in drought-prone Tigray, Ethiopia
MEKELE, Ethiopia, 22 September 2011 - The town of Mekele in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which borders Eritrea, is only an hour’s flight from the capital, Addis Ababa, but in some ways, it’s a world away.
UNICEF aims to reduce the rates of infant and maternal mortality in Afghanistan
DAIKUNDI PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 19 September 2011 – Few roads lead to Daikundi, Afghanistan. It is the heartland of a hard land - so barren and remote, even the conflict cannot reach it. Ironically for a country at war, it is not violence that puts the lives of mothers and small children at risk but the simplest act of giving life and struggling to survive.
Former president fights against childhood malnutrition in West Africa
DAKAR, Senegal, 16 September 2011 – Former President of Cape Verde, António Manuel Mascarenhas Gomes Monteiro has made it his mission to make the fight against childhood malnutrition a priority in West Africa. Advocating directly with leaders of West African nations, he aims to place nutrition at the heart of development strategies and advise on approaches to secure policy focus.
In Pakistan, new floods leave displaced families in limbo
BADIN DISTRICT, SINDH, Pakistan, 15 September 2011 – Mubarak, 37, and his son Rajab, 10, wade through the dirty flood waters up to their waist. They are attempting to rescue something from the murky depths, but from a distance it is not clear what it is. As they get closer and the water shallower, a heavy wooden chest comes into view.
New law prohibits practice of female genital mutilation in Guinea-Bissau
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, 13 September 2011 - This past June, the National Popular Assembly (ANP) of Guinea-Bissau approved a law prohibiting female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) nationwide. The controversial law had been on the table for discussion for 16 years, before it was ultimately approved by 64 votes in favour to 1 vote against.
UNICEF supports stabilization centres to treat malnourished children in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 8 September 2011 – Mohamed, 2, weighed just over five kg when he was brought to Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu recently. His family had arrived in the Somali capital just a month earlier. Due to prolonged drought, they had lost all of their livestock back home in Elbur, located in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia.
UNICEF combats measles in overcrowded displacement camps in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 2 September 2011 –“He doesn’t sleep,” says Furiyay, a mother whose young son sits lethargically on her lap. The boy is thin and his legs are covered with sores. “He vomits the whole night and has diarrhoea,” his mother adds.
Community-based nutrition programme targets children at risk in Ethiopia
KEBSO TEKOMA, Ethiopia, 25 August 2011 – Bedria Yuya has just learned that one of her eight-month-old twins, Hehumati Shemsedin, is severely underweight. The news comes during a monthly growth-monitoring session in her village in drought-affected eastern Ethiopia.
Improving lives by providing access to safe water in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 23 August 2011 – For seven-year-old Babylove Milande Clement, every new day means tiring walks in the sun across her displacement camp outside of Port-au-Prince to buy safe water for her and her mother. Carefully balancing the water-filled bucket on her head so as not to spill a drop, she makes her way from a water kiosk to the tent where the two live alone.
Exclusive breastfeeding ensures a healthy life for Lesotho’s children
TEYATEYANENG, Lesotho, 22 August 2011 – Malefu Kobisi, 28, is a proud mother of a bouncing seven-month-old baby girl, Qenehelo. For the first six months of Qenehelo life, her mother religiously fed her child with only breast milk - a practice known as exclusive breast feeding.
On World Humanitarian Day, the UN celebrates the extraordinary efforts of aid workers
NEW YORK, United States, 19 August 2011 - From the Horn of Africa to Haiti, Pakistan and Japan, millions of aid workers are working tirelessly to help those in need. They brave danger and take on the greatest risks in countries far away from their homes to help others rebuild their lives, survive war and battle disease.
UNICEF mounts urgent response to contain the spread of cholera in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 August 2011 - Foday Ali’s five-month-old baby is looking around, showing signs of life for the first time in four days since she was admitted to the Banadir Paediatric Unit in Mogadishu for severe malnutrition. She was born in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp in Mogadishu just days after her mother completed the 25 kilometre walk from her home just north of El Ma’an.
In Kenya’s refugee camps, hygiene promotion aims to prevent disease by changing behaviour
DADAAB, Kenya, 18 August 2011- It is early morning amidst the shelters of Hagadera refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya, and Mohamed Shorie, 22, is already at work promoting the benefits of hygiene. Surrounded by three families from Block B 0C, in what seems just a matter of seconds, at least 20 more people arrive, most of them women and children, curious to hear what he has to say.
UNICEF provides life-saving emergency nutrition intervention to drought-affected communities in Kenya
TURKANA DISTRICT, Kenya, 15 August 2011- At the paediatric ward in Lodwar District Hospital, the persistent rasping sound of babies coughing slashes through the stillness in the room. Admitted with a variety of different ailments, the toddlers and infants occupying beds at this unit in the northwest of Kenya all have one thing in common - malnourishment caused by the drought.
Thousands of lives at risk in Chad due to cholera epidemic
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 August 2011 - Cholera has resurged in Chad affecting more than 7000 people since March 2011, most of whom are the poorest and most vulnerable.
Ethiopian mothers struggle to feed their children amidst drought crisis
ODOLEKA, Ethiopia, 10 August 2011 – In a small farming community just outside the capital of Addis Ababa, Montegbosh nurses her 18-month-old son. Like many young mothers in this drought-inflicted country, she is opting to nurse longer - she simply has nothing else to feed her toddler.
Field diary: The road to Dadaab
DADAAB, Kenya, 25 July 2011 – Driving the nearly 100 kilometre sand road from the Somali border to the refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya, is like an otherworldly odyssey across an arid landscape seemingly devoid of life.
UNICEF delivers crucial supplies as the situation in the Horn of Africa deteriorates
NEW YORK, USA, 22 July 2011 – A tragedy of epic proportions is unfolding in the Horn of Africa, where hundreds of thousands of children are facing death due to starvation. The disastrous combination of a paralyzing drought, skyrocketing food prices and conflict has left over 11 million people battling hunger to survive.
Communities in Mozambique lead the way to safe sanitation
DEWE, Mozambique, 19 July 2011 – Village leader Chingore Manuel Mabeto, 65, remembers the frequency with which cholera outbreaks used to strike his community’s young and elderly residents.
Latest round of immunization fights maternal and neonatal tetanus in Burkina Faso
KAYA, Burkina Faso, 19 July 2011 – Maternal and neonatal tetanus, or MNT, is a swift and painful disease that can threaten the lives of mothers and newborns.
UNICEF Executive Director meets villagers in drought-stricken Turkana, Kenya
TURKANA DISTRICT, Kenya, 18 JULY 2011 – A typically warm Turkana welcome greeted UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake when he visited the village of Kapua in north-western Kenya this weekend.
Health-post network brings basic services closer to rural populations in Niger
MARADI, Niger, 14 July 2011 – The health post of Sarkin Yamma-Sofoua, a rural village in the Maradi Region of south-east Niger, opened six years ago. Ever since then, every day has been a busy one for Chaïbou Balla, the community health agent in charge of the post.
Fighting cholera, a deadly threat to child survival in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 13 July 2011 – “I have never been as worried as during the past three days,” sighs Maman Vombi Sidania. After a night of continuous vomiting and diarrhoea, her granddaughter Mimi, 11, was taken to the health centre in Maluku. There, the girl was diagnosed with cholera – a potential death sentence from dehydration.
Challenges ahead to strengthen children’s rights as South Sudan prepares for independence
JUBA, South Sudan, 8 July 2011 - The celebrations on the streets of Juba have already begun. School children waving flags and carrying banners have joined tribal warriors and soldiers in rehearsals for Saturday’s big celebrations. As South Sudan gets ready for becoming the world’s newest nation, the pride and excitement is visible on every face.
South Sudan and UNICEF inaugurate a new ward at the country’s only children’s hospital
JUBA, South Sudan, 8 July 2011 - As South Sudan prepares for its independence, the opening of a new ward at a children’s hospital marks a small but significant step towards tackling the daunting challenges facing public health officials in the region.
Millions need urgent aid amidst drought, conflict and food crisis in the Horn of Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 July 2011 – More than 10 million people across the Horn of Africa are in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to a deadly combination of drought, escalating food prices and armed conflict. Among the most vulnerable are 2 million children under the age of five in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Providing comprehensive care to young people living with HIV in Rwanda
KAYONZA, Rwanda, 30 June 2011 – A UNICEF-supported hospital in one of Rwanda’s most rural and isolated areas is offering a ray of hope to hundreds of young people living with HIV.
Mobile clinics protect children from malnutrition in post-flood Pakistan
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 30 June 2011 – The battle against child malnutrition in Pakistan’s flood-affected Sindh Province is reaching even the smallest, most isolated villages with the help of UNICEF-supported mobile health teams.
UNICEF child-led WASH programme reaps rewards in India as hygiene-related illnesses fall
GUNA, India, 28 June 2011 – As they dash from class to the school’s canteen for their midday meal, Mahesh Kushawaha, 13, and fellow students stop and fumble in small plastic containers. But it’s not food they seek. It’s soap.
UNICEF mobilizes Haitian ‘Rara’ for cholera prevention
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 27 June 2011 – Rara music groups from Voodoo religious communities empowered Haitians to protect themselves and their families in the ongoing fight against cholera at a recent campaign event.
UN Secretary-General launches global drive to meet sanitation targets by 2015
NEW YORK, USA, 21 June 2011 – Sanitation and access to proper toilets must be at the centre of discussions on development, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering this morning at UN Headquarters that included members of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, and other dignitaries.
A UNICEF-supported clinic provides care and treatment for women with HIV in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 17 June 2011 – Life has become complicated for 16-year-old Clodine (not her real name). Six months pregnant and HIV-positive, she lives in a dirt-floor tent with her aunt in a camp for displaced people. A few months ago, she left her boyfriend, who gave her HIV and is the father of her child.
Renowned photographer Jan Grarup documents UNICEF child survival efforts in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 17 June 2011 – Renowned Danish photographer Jan Grarup recently visited Central African Republic (CAR) to document the challenges facing young children in the country, and how UNICEF responds.
Donors commit $4.3 billion to scale up GAVI Alliance’s immunization efforts to 2015
LONDON, United Kingdom, 13 June 2011 – UNICEF, a founding partner of the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance), today welcomed the commitment of $4.3 billion by donors at a fundraising conference in London to step up vaccination efforts over the next four years.
UNICEF Executive Director and other leaders focus on children in the fight against HIV/AIDS
NEW YORK, USA, 10 June 2011 – Children and mothers must be at the centre of the global HIV/AIDS response, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake told a distinguished gathering of leaders in the fight against AIDS in New York last night.
In Mozambique, efforts to educate about HIV testing help pregnant mothers and children
BEIRA, Mozambique, 9 June 2011 – It is another busy day at Munhava Health Care Centre, located in a crowded neighbourhood in Beira, Mozambique’s second largest city.
Second round of national campaign against polio targets millions in Democratic Republic of the Congo
KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2 June 2011 – A month after the first round of National Immunization Days 2011, a new five-day Government vaccination drive – supported by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and multiple partners – has reached out to immunize more than 12 million children under the age of five.
Goodwill Ambassador Xuan Bac delivers good hygiene message to children in Viet Nam
HA NOI, Viet Nam, 26 May 2011 – For many Vietnamese children, Xuan Bac, an actor and comedian, is a familiar name associated with friendliness and slapstick comedy. Recently appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), the well-known celebrity is committed to making the position part of his family and professional life.
Finnish funding enables UNICEF to provide safe water to school children in Afghanistan
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 23 May 2011 – The first thing that catches your eye, as you enter Abdul Khaleq School, is the sun glinting off the galvanized metal of the new water pump and sink and the sparkling of water droplets as children drink, and wash their hands and faces.
Health week delivers support to millions of mothers and children in Pakistan
PUNJAB, Pakistan, 18 May 2011 – Mothers and children across Pakistan received a much-needed health boost recently, thanks to the nationwide bi-annual Mother and Child Health Week.
In Viet Nam, a 'total sanitation' programme makes progress in rural areas
VINH THANH, Viet Nam, 5 May 2011 – Vinh Thanh village is nestled in the rice-producing Mekong Delta region of southern Viet Nam. Residents came together one sunny morning recently to attend a very special performance organized by local health workers.
Delivering health care to infants in earthquake-stricken Japan
TOKYO, Japan, 25 April 2011 – “Learning my baby girl is in good health, I feel so relieved,” says Mariko Matsuno, holding her 5-month-old daughter in her arms. It’s the first time her infant has had a check-up since March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Government of Japan gives new life to Zimbabwe immunization programme
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 20 April 2011 – Peter Manjoro straps his 11-month-old baby on his back and clutches his sons Ngoni, 5, and Takudzwa, 8, by the hand as they begin the 15-km journey to the nearest vaccination point. For this farm labourer, it is a journey he can afford to take only once year.
UNICEF launches new campaign to stop the spread of pneumonic plague in Madagascar
TALATAVOLONONDRY, Madagascar, 15 April 2011—UNICEF undertook a mass disinfection campaign in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo to prevent the spread of pneumonic plague. The campaign targeted more than 28,000 families in the most exposed districts of the capital and surrounding towns and lasted for three days.
Despite security risks, health volunteers vaccinate children against polio in Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 8 April 2011 – During afternoon prayers, religious leader Abdul Wakil Mowlavzada speaks passionately to the men who have gathered at one of Jalalabad’s largest mosques. They listen intently as he talks about the importance of polio eradication.
GAVI supports a pneumococcal vaccination programme for Congolese children
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 April 2011 – Several hundred spectators gathered this week to witness the Democratic Republic of the Congo introduce a new pneumococcal vaccine to combat pneumonia into its national immunisation programme.
UNICEF Executive Director sees progress of community-based programmes in Ethiopia
GONDAR, Ethiopia, 5 April 2011 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake visited a number of programmes that are following an equity-based strategy designed to reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable communities during his recent visit to Ethiopia.
Young midwives bring new life to remote villages in India
MADHYA PRADESH, India, 31 March 2011 – Sanju Kaim got an unexpected bonus on her first day as an auxiliary nurse midwife in Jhagar in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Alone in the village’s small health centre, she delivered not one baby girl, but twins.
Angola steps up immunization drive in its efforts to eradicate polio
SAURIMO, Angola, 28 March 2011 – It’s not every day that your child gets vaccinated by your country’s vice president. That was the fate of Isabel Zita Motinha last Friday morning.
A national campaign aims to increase Namibian men's involvement in HIV health programmes
KATUTURA, Namibia, 24 March 2011 – Israel Ndeshaanya and Elisabeth Nagula live together with their 8-month old son, Nicolas, in the township of Katutura.
UNICEF and partners educate Haitian children on how to prevent cholera
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 March 2011 – In the crowded classrooms of Institute Mixte de Kervens School in Canape Verde, Port-au-Prince, children are learning critical skills in the fight against cholera.
A new door-to-door strategy to eliminate polio in Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 16 March 2011 – Under the sweltering day’s heat in the capital city of Luanda, a novel approach to raising polio vaccination awareness is taking place.
Eco latrines improve quality of life in earthquake-affected communities in Rwanda
GIHUNDWE, Rwanda, 15 March 2011 – A mini-revolution has taken place for vulnerable members of a small community living near Lake Kivu in the Rusizi District of south-west Rwanda, an area struck by a series of earthquakes in 2008.
Iron supplementation helping to end inter-generational cycle of anaemia in India
RANCHI, India, 23 February 2011 - Deepa Kumari, 14, began to feel dizzy and weak in class at the start of her menstrual cycle. Her father, who teaches math at a local private school, and mother decided to take her to a doctor when her symptoms failed to improve.
Launch of pneumococcal vaccine initiative aims to protect thousands in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 February 2011 - The pneumococcal vaccine was launched this week by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki at a colourful ceremony in the nation’s capital of Nairobi. The free vaccine will be administered to all children under twelve months of age; protecting thousands of children across the country.
In Niger, new sanitation programme is transforming lives through better hygiene
BANDE, Niger, February 16 2011—Rabe Amman, 24, leads his visitors through the spotless courtyard of his family compound and past his wife who is pounding millet with her neighbours outside their thatched huts in the remote Nigerien village of Bande. He stops by a reed enclosure, which he opens to proudly show off his latest accomplishment - a new covered latrine for his family, which he built with his own hands.
Two-year campaign aims to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in Lao PDR
VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 14 February 2011– As morning broke in the province of Bollikhamxay, health workers made final preparations for a mass immunization drive targeting women and children from surrounding villages. Tucked into the rolling mountainous landscape of Laos, Bollikhamxay is one of many provinces that recently conducted the third round of a national campaign designed to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, or MNT, by 2012.
Warnings on shortage of essential drugs amidst crisis in Côte d'Ivoire
KANI, Côte d’Ivoire, 3 February 2011 – Malaria is the leading cause of mortality among children under the age of five in this West African nation, and UNICEF is concerned that stocks of essential drugs to treat the deadly disease are in danger of running out in two to four weeks’ time.
Amidst political uncertainty, UNICEF supports yellow-fever immunization in Côte d’Ivoire
KATIOLA, Côte d’Ivoire, 31 January 2011 – Amidst a continuing political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire, more than 800,000 people received life-saving injections against yellow fever last week. The mass immunization campaign was conducted in four health districts, with support from UNICEF, because 25 Ivorians have died from the disease since November.
UNICEF Executive Director joins delegation to Angola, stressing commitment to end polio
LUANDA, Angola, 28 January 2011 – Luanda is a study in contrasts, with a busy port reflecting Angola’s status as one of Africa’s largest oil producers on the one hand and overcrowded shantytowns on the other. Many of those who live in the capital’s poorest areas lack access to safe water and sanitation, and live with the constant threat of disease.
UNICEF works with communities to improve key family practices in Niger
GARIN BAWA, Niger, 24 January 2011 – In the courtyard of her family’s compound, Zuliah Baba, 32, goes through her nightly chores under a full moon. The familiar sounds of similar household routines echo through this rural village – chores that are being influenced by an innovative new UNICEF programme, Key Family Practices, which is having a dramatic impact on child health in Niger.
UNICEF supports a hospital's mobile clinic for survivors of sexual violence in DR Congo
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 18 January 2011 – Maria, 20, whispers as she recounts being raped by soldiers two days before Christmas.
UNICEF and Japan support improved education and health for vulnerable Somali children
BURAO, Somalia, 13 January 2011 – Teacher Faisal Ahmed turns from the blackboard and asks his class of eager teenagers about metres squared and metres cubed. In the third row from the front, Hibaq Abdirahman glances down at the math textbook on the desk before her, then shoots her hand up to explain the difference between area and volume.
Education and health care help quake-affected children start fresh in a Haitian mountain village
JACQUOT, Haiti, 10 January 2011 – Until recently, health care and education facilities were non-existent in the Haitian mountain village of Jacquot, near the capital, Port-au-Prince. But 12 months after the earthquake that devastated this Caribbean nation, local residents now have both.
UNICEF supports community mobilization to stop spread of cholera in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 6 January 2011 – Even as it addresses the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti now faces a devastating cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and sickened many more.
In Somalia, UNICEF-supported programme treats malnutrition before it becomes life-threatening
HARGEISA, Somalia, 30 December 2010 – Salman Haji, 4, stands in the corner of a tin-walled hut, solemnly staring at the man in the white coat as he searches through an impressive amount of official looking paper spread across a large table in a seemingly random fashion. Eventually, a yellow medical card is found recording the details of Salman’s last visit to this mobile clinic, located on the outskirts of Hargeisa.
New vaccine provides protection against meningitis in Burkina Faso
BANFORA, Burkina Faso, 30 December 2010 – The villages of Dègue Dègue and Nofesso are situated 60 km east and south, respectively, from the town of Banfora in western Burkina Faso. In early December 2010, health centres in these villages were set astir as communities and families gathered en masse to receive the new meningitis vaccine.
UNICEF helps to begin changing attitudes towards early marriage in Niger
MARADI, Niger, 23 December 2010 – Sahira, 15, sits in front of a social worker at the Office of the Promotion of Women and the Protection of Children with a blank stare on her face. She has run away after being forced to marry a man she had never met who is three times her age.
Community mobilizers help to fight childhood malnutrition in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 22 December 2010 – Halima Awali, 60, shushes the crowd of boisterous children gathered around her and proclaims, “I was there to bring almost all of these babies into the world.” Squinting into the fierce noon Somaliland sun, the smiling grandmother adds, “Now I am here to make sure all of them stay here.”
Japan supports UNICEF in the fight against polio
TOKYO, Japan, 22 December 2010 – The Government of Japan has made a total contribution of approximately $25.4 million for the prevention of polio and other infectious diseases in Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan in the past month. Since 1993, Japan has been actively providing oral polio vaccines to the world’s children through UNICEF.
Health care and immunization for Palestinian mothers and children in need
HABLEH, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 21 December 2010 – The Hableh government clinic on the West Bank is humming with activity. Today the clinic’s paediatrician is immunizing children, and the benches are lined with women holding children in one hand and, in the other, a ‘Mother and Child Handbook’ designed to track a child’s health and immunization status.
UNICEF supports village clinics to improve maternal and child health across Niger
MARADI, Niger, 15 December 2010 – With babies strapped to their backs and with health cards in hand, women begin arriving soon after daybreak, seemingly from every direction, in the dusty village of Sarkin Yamma Soffoua. By the time the small health post opens its doors at 8 a.m., more than 50 mothers are waiting with their children for regular check-ups or other consultations.
Motorbike ambulances help fight maternal mortality in Southern Sudan
YAMBIO, Southern Sudan, 13 December 2010 – Providing a fast, economical and efficient way to transport pregnant women to hospitals, the new E-Ranger motorbike ambulance - fitted with an attached sidecar bed in which a pregnant woman can sit comfortably - has become a veritable lifeline for Southern Sudan.
Day care centres give hope to children living with HIV in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 10 December 2010 - Azim, 12, has been living with HIV for two years. He currently attends the Boychechak Day Care Center, which provides services for people affected by HIV/AIDS in the eastern province of Namangan in Uzbekistan. Since June 2010, over 550 children like Azim who experience stigma and discrimination because of their HIV status have found solace in such centers. They have also found a chance to enjoy their childhood once again.
In Haiti, UNICEF trains educators to mobilize communities against cholera
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti 9 December 2010 - Chydena Laguerre Joseph holds up a brightly colored cholera prevention poster in Wharf Jérémie, one of Port-au-Prince’s most overcrowded and poorest neighbourhoods. Gathered around her, a group of children wearing ragged clothes and shining smiles begins to sing a song she just taught them:
Meningitis vaccination campaign targets 12 million in Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, 8 December 2010 – .By the end of next week, 12 million Burkinabe children and young adults will receive a new meningitis vaccine. The drive to tackle this potentially fatal disease, which infects the lining around the brain and spinal cord, was launched by President Blaise Compaoré in the presence of leaders and ministers from other African countries affected by meningitis.
UNICEF trains health volunteers to promote exclusive breastfeeding in Myanmar
OKTWIN, Myanmar, 6 December 2010 – Bant Bwae Kone village in Oktwin township, located in Myanmar’s Bago Region, is one of the villages selected by UNICEF and the National Nutrition Centre (NNC) at the Ministry of Health in a new initiative to promote exclusive breastfeeding for infants and young children.
UNICEF and partners report progress on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission
NEW YORK, USA, 30 November 2010 – Halfway through a 10-year campaign to reverse the spread of AIDS, UNICEF and its partners are making significant progress in preventing mothers from passing the disease onto their children.
European Union and UNICEF support maternal and child health in Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 24 November 2010 – Improving maternal and child health services is a key priority for the Government of Uzbekistan, and UNICEF and European Union support is helping – as highlighted during an EU delegation’s visit to the country last week.
UNICEF supports wider distribution of mosquito nets in Angola's Cunene Province
CUNENE, Angola, 24 November 2010 – It is early morning as Dr. Zepelin Leva and his colleagues load cars with bed nets and head inland in the southern Angolan province of Cunene.
UNICEF-supported campaign raises awareness about cholera prevention in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 23 November 2010 – As Haiti’s cholera epidemic continues and hospitals here struggle with a mounting number of patients seeking help, UNICEF and its partners are conducting an information campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of the disease.
In Yemen, community midwives save lives
HODEIDAH, Yemen, 23 November 2010 – Foreegah Ayeesh still remembers the afternoon a few months ago when she was called to check on Amat al-Rahman, who was 17 and pregnant.
UNICEF supports revitalized health service in post-conflict Angola
KARIONGO VILLAGE, Angola, 15 November 2010 – Nurse Judith Abrantes has a warm and kindly face, and a tough temperament. The women who jostle in the queue of her paediatric clinic can expect care and understanding, but the ones who push to the front get a stern telling-off.
UN appeals for funding as cholera outbreak worsens in Haiti
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 12 November 2010 – The death toll in Haiti's cholera epidemic has now climbed to some 800, with more cases reported in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other areas outside the Artibonite Region where the outbreak originated. In response to the worsening situation, the United Nations has issued a new appeal for $163 million in donor aid.
UNICEF and partners battle newborn deaths in India's Rajasthan State
UDAIPUR, India, 12 November 2010 – Kiran Sharma stands watch over her six-day-old nephew huddled in an incubator under a pink blanket with teddy bears covering his frail body. The baby boy and his twin sister each weighed just over a kilo at birth; their mother was seven and a half months pregnant when they were born.
National campaign provides life-saving measles vaccinations in Ethiopia
DALE SISTRICT, Ethiopia, 11 November 2010 – This past October, Meaza Worga, 25, took her place in the bustling queue at the Dale District vaccination post in Moto village and waited patiently – if not a tad anxiously - to get her six-month-old baby Dagmawi Ayalew immunized against measles and polio.
In Gonaïves, cholera cases increase in aftermath of Hurricane Tomas
GONAÏVES, Haiti, 10 November 2010 – After several 14-hour days battling a cholera epidemic in the coastal town of Gonaïves, the last thing Dr. Dieula Louissaint needed was a hurricane.
A Haitian mother struggles to provide her family with safe water
L’ESTERE, Haiti, 9 November 2010 – It is late morning in L’Estere, a small community in Haiti’s Artibonite region, north of the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince. Igenice Merceda has arrived at the community hospital. She’s happy because today she will be taking home her son Godson Noel. Only yesterday, Igenice wasn’t sure if her son’s three siblings would ever see him alive again.
UNICEF supports Mother and Child Health Week amidst crisis in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 8 November 2010 – Volatiana Rafaramalala sat in the community hall of Ankazotoho Anosimahavelona, a neighbourhood of nearly 11 000 people, on the outskirts of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.
Angola battles polio outbreak with massive immunization drive
LUANDA, Angola, 5 November 2010 – Little Georgina Luisa de Deus Nzongo smiles, pats her father’s cheek and chuckles like any other baby her age. But Georgina will not be able to run, ride a bike or engage in many other physical activities that her twin sister will enjoy as they grow up. Her legs are paralyzed for life.
Amidst ongoing cholera crisis, UNICEF and partners respond to hurricane threat in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 November 2010 – After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, coupled with a cholera epidemic over the past two weeks, Hurricane Tomas now poses yet another threat to the most vulnerable part of the country’s population – its children.
UNICEF constructs treatment centres to control the spread of cholera in Haiti
L’ESTERE, Haiti, 4 November 2010 – As tropical storm Tomas continues it’s ominous path towards Haiti, the possibility that it could strengthen into a hurricane poses a major threat to the beleaguered island nation. With over a million people living in temporary camps and an outbreak of cholera currently tearing its way north, Tomas – expected to pass over Haiti on Friday - would worsen an already dire situation dramatically.
Time is running out for marooned flood victims in a district of Pakistan's Sindh Province
DADU DISTRICT, Pakistan, 2 November 2010 – The recent floods in Pakistan have been particularly cruel to the Dadu district in the country’s southern Sindh Province. With nearly half its population of 1.3 million displaced, and virtually everyone in the region affected, providing much-needed supplies and medical assistance to flood victims has indeed been a monumental endeavor.
UNICEF prepares for a potential cholera outbreak in Port-au-Prince
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 27 October 2010 – While efforts to contain the cholera epidemic are ongoing in the affected zones of the Artibonite region, UNICEF and its partners have been gearing up for a potential outbreak in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Programme of improvements assures quality in mother and child health across Uzbekistan
NAMANGAN, Uzbekistan, 26 October 2010 – In the delivery room at the regional hospital here in Namangan one day this past summer, Tukhtabaeva Margubu’s labour with her first child was already well along. Her expression alternated between understandable anxiety and pain from the contractions.
UNICEF steps up efforts to contain cholera in Haiti's Artibonite Department
SAINT-MARC, Haiti, 25 October 2010 – Val Voyalant , 10, and her sister Cledna, 3, live in the small community of Pisto, south of Dessaline and near the Artibonite River, the region most affected by the current cholera outbreak in Haiti. The two lie quietly on a hospital gurney against the back wall of an open room. Intravenous tubes feed their arms with a concentrated saline solution.
Community volunteers promote polio immunization in India
MORADABAD, India, 22 October 2010 – Some 30 years ago, baby boy Zulfikar Ahmed became seriously ill during the communal riots in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Promoting breastfeeding remains a top health priority in Syria
LATAKIA, Syrian Arab Republic, 21 October 2010 – Syrian mother Jenna Mouna is well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding her newborn. Having given birth in a UNICEF-supported baby-friendly hospital, she’s being well taken care of by healthcare workers trained in a 10-step programme designed to promote breastfeeding.
Joint initiative in Uzbekistan improves mother and child health
NAMANGAN, Uzbekistan 20 October 2010 – Watching her newborn baby sleep in the special care unit at Namangan Perinatal Centre, young mother Bobokhanova Madina wears the kind of loving smile that can only come from someone who knows how lucky she is to be a mother.
Pregnancy and childbirth support in Pakistan
THATTA, Pakistan, 19 October 2010 – When the floods hit the town of Belosheher in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh last August, Haleema Gafoor, 20, was in the final weeks of her pregnancy. With waters quickly submerging their home, she and her family had no choice but to flee.
Reviving health services could close gaps in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 19 October 2010 – Alongside her unemployed husband, Mutsa Mbore, 27, endured the excruciating pains of labour all night at their home in Mount Hampden, about 15 km west of Harare. The baby arrived in the early hours of the morning, but for Ms. Mbore, the bleeding and pains continued long after giving birth.
A package of simple changes boosts child survival across Uzbekistan
NAMANGAN, Uzbekistan, 18 October 2010 – At the Namangan Children’s Multi-Profile Medical Centre in eastern Uzbekistan, early morning is the busiest time in the admissions department.
Doctors in Kyrgyzstan learn new treatments to fight top child killer
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 12 October 2010 – The lives of children in southern Kyrgyzstan, an area which suffered from recent civil strife, are now under another threat: diarrhoea.
UNICEF and European Union rehabilitate medical infrastructure in rural Côte d'Ivoire
YAPLEU, Côte d’Ivoire, 6 October 2010 – It’s Tuesday morning at the Yapleu health centre in the Central Northwest region of Côte d’Ivoire. This means it’s check-up time – and Yapleu’s team of midwives and nurses are eagerly examining the local children.
Fighting Guinea Worm, a waterborne blight in Mali
GAO, Mali, 4 October 2010 – Guinea Worm, a painful parasitic disease, is endemic in northern Mali. Transmitted through contaminated water sources, the illness is just one of many challenges in ensuring safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.
In Pakistan's Swat valley, health workers reach out to women and children already struggling
SWAT VALLEY, Pakistan, 28 September 2010 - The scenic Swat valley in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is facing a complex emergency situation. Since May 2009 military operations and conflict have ravaged the area and in July 2010 floods came, affecting some 3.8 million people in the province and devastating thousands.
In Rwanda, pneumonia vaccine fights top killer of children
NYAMATA, Rwanda, 27 September 2010 – It has been a little over a year since Rwanda introduced a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine known as PCV7. The vaccine protects children against one of the most common causes of pneumonia – with encouraging results.
Community-led water and sanitation projects take root in Nigeria
CALABAR, Nigeria, 23 September 2010 – Esther Etowa’s lively face is quick to break into an engaging smile. Her deep voice can change from a comforting murmur into a boom that can be heard across the width and breadth of a village – a useful quality in Ms. Etowa’s work.
MDG summit events close at UNICEF with a call to action on helping the most vulnerable
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2010 – At UNICEF’s closing event for the UN Millennium Development Goals summit last night, experts and world leaders gathered to highlight the importance of reaching the world’s most disadvantaged and hardest-to-reach children in order to achieve the MDGs with equity by 2015.
MDG summit events seek progress for all, including the most vulnerable
NEW YORK, USA, 22 September 2010 – The UN Millennium Development Goals summit wrapped up with a strong emphasis on targeting the poorest and most vulnerable communities in order to meet the MDGs by their 2015 target date. In the final stretch of the busy three-day meeting, UNICEF participated in side events on three critical MDG target areas: maternal health, water and sanitation, and education.
On day two, events at MDG summit spotlight HIV/AIDS, nutrition, partnerships – and equity
NEW YORK, USA, 21 September 2010 – UNICEF took part in a packed agenda of side events during the second day of the UN Millennium Development Goals summit, spotlighting progress made and challenges ahead on HIV/AIDS, child health and nutrition.
UN Millennium Development Goals summit kicks off with events on education and child survival
NEW YORK, USA, 20 September 2010 – The United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals – the MDGs – kicked off today in New York with side events highlighting the goals on education and child survival. Discussions echoed the key conclusion of UNICEF’s recent ‘Progress for Children’ report: that an equity-based approach, targeting the poorest of the poor, offers the best hope of achieving the MDGs by their 2015 target date.
In Pakistan's flood-devastated Sindh province, female health workers play key role
AGHA ALI JATOI, Pakistan, 15 September 2010 – A breeze whispers through a plantation of date palms in the small village of Agha Ali Jatoi, in Pakistan’s Sindh province. On the mud brick houses, watermarks – some up to two metres high – are silent reminders of the devastating floodwaters that have since receded in this tiny rural village of 900 people.
Micronutrient supplementation brings new hope for children in Nepal
PALPA DISTRICT, Nepal, 15 September 2010 – Leela Rana has been volunteering as a Female Community Health Volunteer for the past five years. In this role she provides counselling and basic health and nutrition services to members of her community.
UNICEF and partners fight deadly, but preventable, cholera outbreak in Cameroon
NEW YORK, USA, 8 September 2010 – Cameroon is currently experiencing one of its most severe outbreaks of cholera in decades. The epidemic began in May 2010, following the country’s rainy season, and is most prevalent in the country’s Extreme North province. To date, there are some 5,560 reported cases of cholera and 385 deaths, according to the Government of Cameroon.
Ghanaian children benefit from UNICEF 'IWASH' project
TAMALE, Ghana, 8 September 2010 – They say it takes a village to raise a child. But children themselves are equally capable of important work, as UNICEF Ghana’s new handwashing project, known as ‘IWASH,’ is proving.
Executive Board session opens with a focus on progress and equity
NEW YORK, USA, 7 September 2010 – The UNICEF Executive Board opened its second regular session of 2010 today with a focus on narrowing disparities in child survival and development within and among developing nations.
UNICEF and IKEA partner for healthier babies in Jharkand state, India
KHUNTI, India, 2 September 2010 – Bilkani Sangha shakes her head in amazement when she recalls how she first fed her newborn baby. She remembers dipping a cloth into warm goat’s milk mixed with honey and jungle herbs, then slowly dripping the concoction into her tiny child’s mouth.
Field diary: More efforts needed to help Somali families survive and thrive
BOSSASO and GAROWE, Somalia, 1 September 2010 – As soon as I arrived in Bossaso, the main port town located in northeast Somalia, the scorching heat, strong wind and barren plains brought back the memory of my past experience in Somalia.
Improved sanitation catches on in rural Ghana one latrine at a time
TAMALE, Ghana, 26 August 2010 – Peering through the doorway of the Chief’s hut in the village of Chirifoyili, into a courtyard littered with earthenware and ceramic cooking pots, it seems nothing has changed in this village for centuries.
New programme empowers Bangladeshi families to make more informed health choices
BANDARBAN, Bangladesh, 25 August 2010 – Chaity Tripura, 22, is the very picture of serenity as she stands outside her two-room home, cradling her one-month-old daughter in the warm afternoon air.
With UNICEF and European Union support, young women lead the charge against cutting
IMDIBIR, Ethiopia, 24 August 2010 – When she was seven years old, Maeza Garedew, now 14, was blindfolded and her hands and legs tied behind her back. She was laid on a board and then taken outside to the garden.
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia visits relief camps in Pakistan
SUKKUR, Pakistan, 20 August 2010 – The extent of the misery and devastation caused by Pakistan’s recent flooding is unprecedented, said UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Daniel Toole after visiting the area this week. The country is facing its worst disaster in more than 30 years.
With free birth registration, Angola promotes a child's right to legal identity
CUNENE PROVINCE, Angola, 10 August 2010 – In a province of southern Angola where poverty is prevalent and literacy is low, mothers are learning the unexpected importance of a simple document – the birth certificate.
In rural Ethiopia, health extension workers bring care to new mothers
WONDO GENET, Ethiopia, 5 August 2010 – Beaming with pride, new mother Martha Getachew arrives at the Wosha and Soyama village health clinic in central Ethiopia. She is greeted fondly by community health workers, known here as ‘health extension workers.’
UNICEF-supported programmes help families living with HIV in Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 2 August 2010 – The bright red train carriage looks slightly out of place beside the square concrete architecture of Luanda’s Bernardino Paediatric Hospital, but the children love it. Inside the carriage, a group of toddlers are happily playing with building blocks under the supervision of social worker Frangueira Bernado António.
Calling for accelerated action, UN and Zimbabwe Government launch nutrition survey results
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 30 July 2010 – The Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe, the United Nations and the Zimbabwe Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) have launched new data on the nutritional status of Zimbabwe’s children, revealing that more than one third of Zimbabwe’s children under the age of five are chronically malnourished and consequently stunted.
Free, universal health care rolls out for mothers and children in Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 28 July 2010 – Early each morning, queues start to form outside the Princess Christian Memorial Hospital in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Pregnant women, mothers and young children wait patiently. Health-care workers trawl the lines for priority cases that need immediate attention.
Vaccination campaign conducted in response to resurgence of measles in Zambia
LUSAKA, Zambia, 26 July 2010 – In the Matero neighbourhood here in the Zambian capital last week, three-year-old Kaseko led her Aunt Sarah by the hand to the health clinic. Once there, they joined the long queue of mothers and crying babies.
Panama launches national handwashing campaign to improve child health and hygiene
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 14 July 2010 – “Wash our hands, it´s time to wash our hands,” sang a group of second graders at Los Andes II school in Panama City’s San Miguelito district. While they chanted the popular tune, hundreds more children waved handmade banners for health officials who were present at their school to inaugurate a national handwashing campaign.
Universal blood tests hunt down the malaria parasite in Sabang district, Indonesia
SABANG, Indonesia, 13 July 2010 – Mohamed Safrina, 22, has never suffered from malaria, but he knows it’s a dangerous illness. However, the labourer from Sabang, an island district off the north-west coast of Indonesia, is terrified of needles and a little apprehensive of the gloved nurse kneeling beside him.
Bamyan maternity waiting home: A safe place to give birth in Afghanistan
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 12 July 2010 – “This place is needed in Bamyan like water in the desert,” said Dr. Hamed Nazim, head of Bamyan Provincial Hospital. “In the past, not enough care was taken of mothers. This will change now.”
In Rwanda, free mosquito nets save lives
MAYANGE, Rwanda, 29 June 2010 – Seraphine Kabasinga, mother of four, has always been scared of malaria. She lives in an endemic zone, just an hour east of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
Kiwanis and UNICEF launch 'The Eliminate Project' on maternal and neonatal tetanus
NEW YORK, USA, 25 June 2010 – Kiwanis International has selected UNICEF to be its partner in a $110 million effort to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) globally by 2015.
Brick by brick and doctor by doctor, Angola rebuilds its health care system
LUBANGO, Angola, 22 June 2010 – In the newly opened red brick Lubango health clinic, a mass of Angolans line up to see one of the two Cuban doctors working here. The doctors were assigned to provide health care to some 30,000 people in the southern province of Huila.
In India, pregnancy comes with a high price
KHARIAR, India, 11 June 2010 – Her face contorted in pain, Triveni Patel, 27, hobbled into the health centre in an advanced stage of labour with her mother-in-law at her side. Ms. Patel was suffering from acute complications and dangerously high blood pressure. She was frighteningly close to death.
UNICEF and partners work to change attitudes about dangers of cholera in Uganda
HAMUKUNGU, Uganda, 8 June 2010 – As this fishing village comes to life in the early morning, a young girl wades into Lake George and fills a bright yellow plastic container with water.
'Women Deliver 2010' conference addresses maternal health and child survival
NEW YORK, 4 June 2010 – UNICEF and other international leaders in maternal health and child survival will meet in Washington, DC next week to accelerate a global campaign aimed at reducing deaths of pregnant women and young children.
With a focus on rights, Austria to host bi-annual international AIDS conference
VIENNA, Austria, 3 June 2010 – Over 25,000 delegates are expected to attend ‘AIDS 2010,’ the 18th International AIDS Conference, which will take place between 18 and 23 July in Vienna, Austria.
Expecting nearly 400,000 cases, partners work to treat severe acute malnutrition in Niger
MAGARIA, Niger, 28 May 2010 – Souréba, 3, is as light as a bird. Resting on her mother’s knee, the little girl seems indifferent to the noises and movements around her. When her mother, Habsatou, tries to feed her with some therapeutic food on her finger, the child turns away from the brown milky mixture. She is emaciated and has lost her appetite.
In rural Nepal, new birthing centres make pregnancy and childbirth safer
HUMLA, Nepal, 25 May 2010 – Humla district, in Nepal’s mountainous north-west, is one of the most remote places on the planet. This is a land whose severity makes it beautiful, but also difficult for the people who live here. They face limited access to food, education and health facilities, and frequently suffer hardships as a result.
Text messages bolster world’s largest distribution of mosquito nets
World Malaria Day, 25 April, focuses this year on the challenge of achieving universal coverage with essential malaria-control interventions. Here is a story of progress and challenges in one malaria-endemic country, Nigeria.
Malaria prevention and treatment save children's lives in Mozambique
TETE PROVINCE, Mozambique, 23 April 2010 – After Bonita Gomes, 3, was rushed 30 km by motorbike to a rural health clinic, her blood test confirmed the worst: severe malaria with complications. Bonita was taken to Tete Provincial Hospital for further care, but fell into a coma despite blood transfusions and quinine treatment.
Roll Back Malaria partnership launches Africa Update at UNICEF House event
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2010 – UNICEF and the Roll Back Malaria partnership today launched the World Malaria Day 2010 Africa Update, a report highlighting progress towards curbing the deadly mosquito-borne disease in Africa.
Mobile cinema helps change attitudes about female genital mutilation/cutting in Mali
BOUGOUNISSABA, Mali, 5 February 2010 – When the Cinéma Numérique Ambulant came to Djènèba Doumbia’s village, the young women had no idea how it would change her life.
UN Health 4 group ends visit to Ethiopia with proposal for joint Flagship Programme on Maternal and Newborn Health
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 05 January 2010 – Ethiopian health officials, the UN Country Team in Ethiopia and visiting UN Health 4 (H4) partners have developed a comprehensive two-year work plan to support maternal and newborn health (MNH) and survival in the country.
Zambia’s Child Health Week presented a unique opportunity to improve children’s survival
LUSAKA, Zambia, 05 January 2010 – With support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF, Zambia’s Child Health Week took place this past December. Its goal was to reach more than 2.3 million children with critical healthcare interventions.
Health, education and sanitation improve post-tsunami
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, December 2009 – The distinctive voices of Misrina and Bunga can be heard singing above the din of other young children at the Psyandu Plus Centre. Now approaching their fifth birthdays, both were born within a few weeks of the tsunami. Misrina was delivered by a Russian doctor in a hospital tent.
UNICEF and partners praise new UN resolution on malaria, focus on next steps
NEW YORK, USA, 9 December 2009 – At a reception held at UNICEF headquarters in New York last night, Executive Director Ann M. Veneman welcomed key members of the Roll Back Malaria partnership, who joined her in praising a new UN General Assembly resolution on the killer disease.
Malaria testing and treatment for Ethiopians in remote regions
JANGWA, Ethiopia, 25 November 2009 – A steady flow of parents and children make their way to the Jangwa Health Post in Dembia District, seeking treatment for malaria. The rainy season has recently ended, creating ideal breeding conditions for malaria-bearing mosquitoes here in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.
Child Health Days reach displaced communities in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor
NAIROBI, Kenya, 24 November, 2009 – For the first time ever, a Child Health Days campaign has reached displaced children and women in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor, a 30 km stretch of road west of Mogadishu that is the world’s most densely populated settlement for the displaced.
Community volunteers fight undernutrition in northern Cameroon
TCHONTCHI, Cameroon, 13 November 2009 – Almost 5 kilos underweight and too undernourished to walk, two-year-old twins Massing Esther and Tito Anna have to be carried everywhere they go in their home village of Tchontchi, in northern Cameroon.
UNICEF and WHO release comprehensive plan to tackle leading killer of young children
NEW YORK, USA, 2 November 2009 – More children die every day of pneumonia than of any other disease. Today, UNICEF and the World Health Organization released a comprehensive plan to save millions of lives from this often fatal illness.
UNICEF responds to lack of health care for mothers and newborns in Sierra Leone
KOINADUGU, Sierra Leone, 27 October 2009 – Lack of access to affordable health care is one of the major contributing factors to pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths in Sierra Leone.
UNICEF Indonesia gets ‘Flu-Wise’ to fight H1N1
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 October 2009 - When millions of Jakartans packed trains, planes, automobiles and buses to trek back to their hometowns to celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, there was an uninvited guest travelling with them - the H1N1 virus.
‘Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done’
NEW YORK, USA, 14 October 2009 – A new report released by UNICEF and the World Health Organization today lays out a seven-point plan to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea worldwide.
Bringing health services to island communities in Assam, India
CHOKHIA ISLAND, India, 7 October 2009 – When the great Brahmaputra River floods each year, millions of residents living on its roughly 3,000 islands are cut off from the rest of India.
Unprecedented bed net campaign under way in DR Congo
KISANGANI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1 October 2009 – Mikala Mobanda’s four-year-old son has been suffering from fever and lack of appetite for several days. He is lethargic and complains of pain. In this area of DR Congo’s Province Orientale – where malaria is endemic and nearly every child will contract it – there is little doubt of the diagnosis.
Eradicating polio in Afghanistan takes persuasion, participation and peace
GHOR, Afghanistan, 17 September 2009 – A three-day polio eradication campaign, organized by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, reached children across Afghanistan this month. The immunization drive was part of the ongoing effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan, which is one of just four remaining polio-endemic countries.
International Child Neurology Congress affirms vaccination safety in Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine, 16 September 2009 – UNICEF was among this year’s sponsors of the International Child Neurology Congress, held in Ukraine for the first time last week.
UNICEF supports swimming instruction to prevent child deaths in Bangladesh
SIRAJGANJ DISTRICT, Bangladesh, 3 September 2009 — A group of Bangladeshi children recently gathered at a local pond to receive a potentially life-saving health intervention: swimming lessons.
New UNICEF Chief of Health, Dr. Mickey Chopra, outlines challenges
NEW YORK, USA, 1 September 2009 – One month into his new post as UNICEF Chief of Health and Associate Director of Programmes, Dr. Mickey Chopra has identified relations with regional and international partners as a top priority for his tenure.
Executive Director joins NBA star to launch new health facilities in DR Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 August 2009 – As this country tries to recover from years of civil war and unrest, the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (BMMH) offers hope in an impoverished Kinshasa neighbourhood.
Executive Director visits northern Nigeria and announces $1.85 million to address malnutrition
ABUJA, Nigeria, 3 August 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, concluding a visit to the northern states of Kebbi and Sokoto in Nigeria, announced $1.85 million in additional support for UNICEF nutrition programmes.
Breastfeeding key to child survival, says UNICEF Executive Director in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria, 31 July 2009 – As Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is in Nigeria, highlighting the critical need for improvements in child health and nutrition.
Polio immunization drive reaches children on the move in Pakistan
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, 31 July 2009 – Dr. Mohammed Salem walks alongside volunteers carrying small coolers filled with oral polio vaccine around the streets of Fauji Colony in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province.
UNICEF and partners showcase child and maternal health innovations
GENEVA, Switzerland, 7 July 2009 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the 2009 Innovation Fair held at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva yesterday. The fair is part of the High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is meeting here this week with a focus on global health.
Tetanus vaccination campaign aims for elimination in Côte d'Ivoire
DJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, 17 June 2009 – Sabra Seydou arrived at the Abobo Kennedy Clinic in Abidjan with just minutes to spare before giving birth. It was only her second visit to the clinic since the beginning of her pregnancy, as she could not afford all of the standard prenatal tests or consultations.
Mozambique’s Child Health Week reaches 3 million with life-saving interventions
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 26 May 2009 – Over five days, from 18 to 22 May, a nationwide Child Health Week provided a package of health interventions in Mozambique, bringing vitamin A supplements, vaccinations and nutrition screening to more than 3 million children under the age of five.
An immunization week for tetanus elimination in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 18 May 2009 – It was 14-year-old Aichetou’s first time in the health centre in her small village. Her community received an invitation call via radio to attend the tetanus vaccination campaign being held at Lejouad, 200 km from Nouakchott.
International forum issues joint call for enhanced investment in micronutrients
NEW YORK, USA, 12 May 2009 – UNICEF is one of a wide range of development partners in the UN, academic, non-governmental and private sectors that today called on the world’s governments to invest more in life-saving vitamins and minerals to prevent illness, blindness and mental disorders that result from vitamin deficiencies.
Helping mothers improve their children’s chances of growing up free of HIV
NEW YORK, USA, 8 May 2009 – Almost every minute of every day, a baby is infected with HIV, passed on by his or her mother during pregnancy, labour or delivery. For many of these babies, early diagnosis is their only chance of survival.
A shot to live: Meningitis immunization in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 8 May 2009 – Ahmad’s father smiles sadly while he tries to make his little boy stand still so that the nurse can give him a dose of trivalent meningitis vaccine.
UNICEF Indonesia supports influenza pandemic preparedness
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 May 2009 – UNICEF Indonesia is supporting a series of simulation workshops to help the country prepare for a potential influenza pandemic.
Health workers aim to vaccinate 30 million in the Americas
MARISCAL ESTIGARRIBIA, Paraguay, 5 May 2009 – A massive effort is under way to vaccinate 30 million people in 44 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere.
‘Roadmap for care’ aims to improve maternal and newborn survival in Cameroon
AKONOLINGA, Cameroon, 5 May 2009 – At Saint Luke Hospital in Mbalmayo, Nadege, 21, has gone into labour just 26 weeks into her pregnancy. Midwife Gisèle Abanda uses a simple stethoscope to listen for signs of life in utero, but finds none. A few hours later, Nadège delivers her fifth premature, stillborn baby.
Improving care for mothers and newborns in Uzbekistan
FERGHANA, Uzbekistan, 4 May 2009 – Maftuna Yakubova beams with pride over her newborn baby boy in the maternity ward of the Perinatal Centre in Ferghana, eastern Uzbekistan.
World Malaria Day celebrates progress made towards wiping out the disease
NEW YORK, 24 April 2009 – On the eve of World Malaria Day, 25 April, a new report co-sponsored by UNICEF shows that the world is one the verge of banishing malaria to the sidelines of serious global health issues.
Cholera outbreaks raise concern in nine Southern African countries
NEW YORK, USA, 10 March 2009 – With the peak of the rainy season already months past, cholera remains a problem for the governments of nine Southern African countries.
Togo completes first immunization round in regional push against polio
VOGAN, Togo, 9 March 2009 – Beneath a blazing sun, mothers Akuba and Afi are pounding manioc in the yard of their compound when two health workers from the Expanded Programme of Immunization arrive.
Reaching the remote villages of Niger with polio vaccine
GARBEY KOUROU, Niger, 6 March 2009 – On the eve of an eight-country polio vaccination campaign held over the past week in West Africa, Ali Boureima, the immunization coordinator for Tillabery health district in Niger, distributed the last batch of oral polio vaccines for nine villages situated on islands in the Niger River.
Benin completes first round of National Immunization Days against polio
COTONOU, Benin, 5 March 2009 – About 2.7 million children under the age of five are to be vaccinated in Benin during two rounds of National Immunization Days (NIDs) this year. Benin, like several neighbouring countries, is witnessing a resurgence of wild poliovirus.
UNICEF and partners mobilize to eradicate polio in Côte d’Ivoire
ADIAKE, Cote d’Ivoire, 3 March 2009 – UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Rotary International called for renewed mobilization to eradicate polio in Côte d’Ivoire last week, as they launched the first round of a new immunization campaign in Adiaké.
IKEA-supported training helps ‘hero’ at early-childhood centre in Assam, India
ASSAM, India, 2 March 2009 – Just off the main road of Athabari village, Tarulata Saikia sits in a small room decorated with brightly coloured posters of the Assamese alphabet. Ms. Saikia, 48, is a petite, soft-spoken worker at an ‘Anganwadi’ community child development centre. She has a remarkable story to tell.
Communities in West Africa prepare for extensive polio vaccination campaign
ZINDER REGION, Niger, 27 February 2009 – In Niger, traditional and religious leaders are at the forefront of communication efforts in the run-up to a synchronized polio vaccination campaign that begins today in West Africa.
UNICEF and IKEA join hands to support child survival in India
ASSAM, India, 24 February 2009 – A woman’s eyes open wide in shock. A second later her face crumples and a shriek of misery cuts the air. Her husband hugs her nervously to soothe her. In the village of Dikomnahoroni, expectant mother Poornima Gosain has felt the first contractions of labour.
'The Final Inch': Oscar-nominated film looks at efforts to eradicate polio
NEW YORK, USA, 19 February 2009 – Fifty years after the development of an effective vaccine marked the beginning of the end of polio in the developed world, the paralyzing and sometimes fatal disease continues to stalk children in the poorest countries.
Improving child and maternal health amidst conflict in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 5 February 2009 – A child's first right is the right to life. But in today's Afghanistan, children face some of the most difficult challenges to their survival in the world.
Innovative solutions to cope with food insecurity in Mozambique
NEW YORK, USA, 26 January 2009 – With more than one billion people in the world suffering from food price fluctuations and nutrition concerns, tackling global food scarcity and high food prices is a top item on the agendas of United Nations agencies.
Schoolchildren adopt improved sanitation and hygiene practices in Burkina Faso
WEOTENGA, Burkina Faso, 22 January 2009 – For the students at the Weotenga Primary School in central Burkina Faso, handwashing with soap is anything but a chore. In fact, it’s the latest craze, thanks to efforts by UNICEF to elevate the importance of personal hygiene in the region.
Investing in polio vaccination for all of Myanmar’s children
NORTHERN SHAM STATE, Myanmar, 22 January 2009 – Despite demanding tasks at home and on the family plantation, Ei Tume, 20, had a sound reason to be excused from her daily duties. As a health team arrived in Ho Waing village, part of Wein Kao Township, Ei Tume brought her two-year-old son, Ey Tun, to the village immunization post.
Turkey encouraged by UNICEF report on maternal and newborn health
ANKARA, Turkey, 19 January 2009 – UNICEF’s flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children 2009’, received a warm welcome in Turkey, where it was recently unveiled by UNICEF Representative Reza Hossaini.
Executive Director visits Zimbabwe, with new support for health workers fighting cholera
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 17 January 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, has announced a $5 million incentive package aimed at rescuing the ailing Zimbabwean health sector. Speaking at the end of her two-day visit to Zimbabwe, Veneman highlighted the need for major stakeholders to put children at the forefront of their collective agenda.
UNICEF launches flagship report on maternal and newborn health
NEW YORK, USA, 15 January 2009 – UNICEF’s flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children 2009’ – launched today in South Africa – addresses maternal mortality, one of the most intractable problems for development work.
Launch of the first World Report on Child Injury Prevention in Hanoi
HANOI, Viet Nam, 10 December 2008 – A ceremony was held today in Hanoi to mark the launch of the first World Report on Child Injury Prevention. The report was jointly prepared by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Viet Nam, with input from more than 180 experts from 56 different countries.
Uganda mounts a major fight against malaria in northern districts
OYAM DISTRICT, Uganda, 19 November 2008 – The Government of Uganda has launched a large-scale malaria campaign here in the country’s northern Lango sub-region. It is the latest effort to combat malaria, a preventable disease that is the top killer of children under the age of five in Uganda.
UNICEF supports maternal and newborn health in Niger
GUIDAN ROUMDJI, Niger, 5 November 2008 – Lying on a bed at the maternity ward of the UNICEF-supported Guidan Roumdji hospital in eastern Niger, Tchima Abou knows she could have died. The 27-year-old woman had given birth to her sixth child, a girl, at home when she started bleeding and slipped into unconsciousness.
Delivering on the front lines: Maternal health in conflict, post-conflict and emergency situations
NEW YORK, USA, 29 October 2008 – Providing for the needs of pregnant women and mothers in conflict, post-conflict and emergency situations can be a major challenge. During armed conflict, the well-being of women is threatened by physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and vital maternal care services are typically disrupted by the devastation of health infrastructure.
Panama first in region to provide free HPV vaccine to young adolescent girls
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 28 October 2008 – Panama is the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to provide the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to young adolescent girls, free of charge.
Global Handwashing Day messages spread across Nepal
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 22 October 2008 – Nepal celebrated the first-ever Global Handwashing Day, 15 October, with various activities and demonstrations designed to convey one key message: that the simple act of handwashing can prevent many deadly diseases.
Providing free anti-malarial treatment to pregnant women in Togo
GOUMOU-KOPE, Togo, 21 October 2008 – Akouvi, a mother of two, has just walked three kilometres to a health centre in this village near Aného, in the Maritime region of Togo. Four months pregnant, she has come to the clinic for her first pre-natal check-up. She is no stranger to tragedy.
Health progress and challenges, 30 years after the Alma-Ata Declaration
ALMATY, Kazakhstan, 15 October 2008 – At the global health conference marking the 30th anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration on primary health care, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said that health systems had to be scaled up through dynamic collaboration among governments, international partners, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
UNICEF nominee Paul Farmer receives CDC Foundation Hero Award
NEW YORK, USA, 10 October 2008 – Dr. Paul Farmer, a tireless activist, researcher and public health practitioner whose organization, Partners in Health, provides community-based care for millions of people throughout the developing world, has received the 2008 Hero Award from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prevention and hygiene-awareness efforts aim to stave off cholera in Guinea-Bissau
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, 6 October 2008 – Jose Turé is a metal worker here in one of the poorest countries in the world, and his life has been marked by hardship. He left his family behind in the town of Bafata when he moved to Bissau, the capital, in hopes of earning a better living. But the move to the bigger town brought with it a new danger: cholera.
UNICEF, Pampers and Salma Hayek take aim at maternal and newborn tetanus elimination
GENEVA, Switzerland, 6 October 2008 – A global review confirms that the elimination of maternal and newborn tetanus – a preventable disease responsible for the death of one baby approximately every three minutes and up to 30,000 mothers each year – could be achieved by 2012.
Executive Director promotes the rights of Roma children in Albania
TIRANA, Albania, 3 October 2008 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, on a two-day visit to Albania, highlighted the plight of Roma children and efforts to strengthen the juvenile justice system.
Health Week keeps up momentum on improving child survival in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda, 29 September 2008 – Rwanda recently celebrated its first-ever week to promote the health and well-being of its women and children.
UNICEF works to protect the most vulnerable from malaria in Indonesia
YAMLI VILLAGE, Indonesia, 12 September 2008 – For centuries, the people of the South Halmahera islands have been dealing with a major health threat that those living in other parts of Indonesia have since forgotten. The threat is malaria, a disease that attacks the most vulnerable. Now, the government, UNICEF and other partners are taking concerted action to end this threat.
As child deaths continue to decline, UNICEF calls for increased efforts
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2008 – Fewer children under the age of five are dying today than in past years, according to the latest data from UNICEF. Globally, the number of young children who died in 2007 dropped to 9.2 million, compared to 12.7 million deaths in 1990.
UNICEF Executive Director announces $1.7 million for the fight against malaria in Ghana
ACCRA, Ghana, 3 September 2008 – During her three-day visit to Ghana this week, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman announced an additional $1.7 million in support to combat malaria in the country.
In Togo, food insecurity makes exclusive breastfeeding more of a challenge
ZOWLA, Togo, 1 August 2008 – In this village in the Maritime region of Togo, Véronique the tailor is well known. It is not for her dressmaking skills that she is respected, but for her work as head of the local breastfeeding support group.
New national household survey collects better data to improve lives in Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 21 July 2008 – The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, or MICS, is a UNICEF-supported census designed to evaluate the well-being of women and children. Angola’s third MICS is now being conducted in all of its 18 provinces.
UNICEF and ECHO provide vital health services to cyclone-affected Malagasy villages
ANTISIRAKA, Madagascar, 17 July 2008 – At first glance, the village of Antsiraka is an idyllic setting. Clear blue waters lap the shores of a white sandy beach, and palm trees mark the entrance to this remote village, which is only accessible by bicycle or boat.
Early detection and treatment of malnutrition in Togo saves lives
BOUGOU, Togo, 2 June 2008 – Hundreds of mothers wait in the early morning at a school in Bogou, holding their children and hoping to hear good news about their prospects.
Zambia’s national health indicators improve markedly
NEW YORK, USA, 28 May 2008 – Some good news out of Zambia: The country’s newest demographic and health survey shows that the sub-Saharan African nation of 12 million people has reduced its maternal and child mortality and HIV prevalence rates.
UNICEF readies for food crisis with unique basket of solutions for children at risk
NEW YORK, USA, 28 May 2008 – Prices of basic foodstuffs are rising across the globe, and with them the spectre of hunger on a massive scale. But where hunger can be battled with less than perfect solutions – as in Haiti, where some people must resort to eating mud cakes – the long-term effect of dietary compromise cannot.
Mia Farrow travels to CAR to support the fight against polio
BANGUI, Central African Republic , 17 May 2008 – Actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has travelled to the Central African Republic (CAR) for a week-long visit to highlight the plight of thousands of women and children who desperately need the world’s attention.
Child health strategy encourages use of bed nets to combat malaria in Niger
MADAROUNFA, Niger, 28 April 2008 – Every night, Aliya Saadou, 26, makes sure that her three young children, including one-month-old Bassira, sleep under the safety of a bed net. Once treated with insecticides, a mosquito net is the best protection against malaria, which is endemic in Aliya’s village of Safo Tchikadji, located just 15 km south of Maradi, Niger’s second biggest city.
On World Malaria Day, new goals for prevention and treatment announced
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2008 – A bold initiative announced today by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brings together the many forces fighting malaria to focus on one goal: providing universal coverage of malaria-control measures in Africa, where 90 per cent of malaria cases occur, by the end of 2010.
Nations unite for World Malaria Day 2008
NEW YORK, USA, 24 April 2008 – Ten years after UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners launched the Roll Back Malaria initiative, malaria is still the single largest child killer in Africa. The disease takes the lives of some 3,000 children per day.
Countdown to 2015: Empowering Nepalese health workers to save the youngest lives
ACHHAM, Nepal, 15 April 2008 – Mathura Shahi, 30, presses the timer button and counts the breath intake of Sajjana, a month-old baby snuggling in her grandfather's arms.
Countdown to 2015: Health centre in Senegal works to reduce child mortality
MOUNTING HAMADY, Senegal, 10 April 2008 – Bintou Sabaly, 21, has given birth to three healthy children in the remote Senegalese village of Mounting Hamady, where no one has access to running water or electricity.
Saving lives by distributing free mosquito nets in Guinea-Bissau
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, 5 March 2008 – Awa Gras knows first-hand how deadly malaria can be for children growing up in Guinea-Bissau. She's given birth to eight children and malaria has killed four of them. The last to die was her four-year-old son, who returned from a soccer match feeling ill.
Pilot effort provides an early warning system for autistic children in Malaysia
GELANG PATAH, Malaysia, 26 February 2008 – Three-year-old Mohamad kneels on the floor, winding and unwinding an electrical cord around his arms. Every few cycles, he turns slightly clockwise, but always with his back to his mother and father, who try futilely to catch his attention.
Consultation on maternal and child health inequities held in New York
NEW YORK, USA, 12 February 2008 – Ensuring that poor and marginalized children and mothers have access to quality health care services was the main subject at the UNICEF-convened consultation, ‘Increasing the Contribution of Health Systems to Health Equity’, held last week at the organization’s New York headquarters.
‘Family Talks’ broadcasts the message good health to Brazil
PALHANO, Brazil, 25 January 2008 – Principal Socorro Leni da Silva stands before the group of eager faces which have gathered in her classroom. On this afternoon, however, the room is not filled with her usual primary school pupils, but rather with their mothers. The women are waiting to be recorded for the UNICEF supported radio show, ‘Family Talks’.
Life-skills lessons turn Turkmen students into role models
GEOKDEPE, Turkmenistan, 8 January 2008 – After school, seventh-grader Jeren Yovbagshiyeva often comes home to sit down with her family for afternoon tea. On this day, however, instead of the usual talk about her progress in class, she has something else to discuss.
‘Miracle women’ help combat under-five mortality in Nepal
KAVRE, Nepal, 6 December 2007 – Nanda Kumari trudges through hillsides blanketed with the colours of ripening maize, trying to steer clear of buffalo as she passes along a narrow trail.
Zimbabwe’s Child Health Days help to reduce measles and boost child survival
MUPANDAWANA, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2007 – One can still see the legacy of polio in the limping walks of a handful of villagers in Mupandawana, a small community with a population of just 300.
Mozambique campaign aims to distribute 500,000 more nets to fight malaria
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 9 November 2007 – A wide-ranging campaign to distribute over 500,000 mosquito nets is currently under way in 5 of Mozambique’s 10 provinces.
‘Women Deliver’ conference set to spur global action on maternal mortality
NEW YORK, USA, 17 October 2007 – Every minute of every day, a woman dies needlessly during pregnancy or childbirth, mostly in the developing world. These women are dying not because the international community doesn’t have the means to save them, but because it seemingly does not have the will.
UNICEF report shows gains made in reducing the burden of malaria
NEW YORK, USA, 16 October 2007 – The fight against malaria has made significant global headway, particularly in the areas of insecticide-treated net dissemination and international funding.
Mobile health workers deliver essential services to Brazilian families
FORTIM, Brazil, 1 October 2007 – Health agent Maria Dos Santos travels on foot, visiting as many as 20 homes a day and treating everything from diabetes to heart disease, as well as offering a host of services to pregnant women and new mothers.
Japan supports promotion of bednets to prevent malaria in Ghana
GUOMONGO VILLAGE, Ghana, 10 September 2007 – Malaria remains the largest single killer of children in Ghana, taking a toll of approximately 20,000 child deaths every year. One in every four deaths of Ghanaian children under the age of five is due to the mosquito-borne disease.
On track to stop malaria: Congolese railroad helps UNICEF deliver 300,000 bednets
POINTE NOIRE, Republic of Congo, 13 August 2007 – It all started with an excess of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and a generous but bulky donation of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent the killer disease – plus a country with few paved roads and a population in need, living in inaccessible rebel-held areas.
Meeting of Global Health Leaders: Stronger collaboration, improved outcomes
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2007 – Global health leaders from eight international organizations met here on 19 July to discuss ways to strengthen their collaboration, in order to achieve better health outcomes in developing countries.
Kenya training session is a milestone for community-based newborn care in Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, 26 June 2007 – Twenty-year-old Evelyn Katunge doesn’t know what killed her babies. In April 2005, with the help of birth attendants in her Majengo home, a sprawling slum near downtown Nairobi, she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Her joy, however, was cruelly shattered when her first baby died within hours, soon followed by her other baby.
Senegal’s Child Survival Days focus on malaria prevention
DOUNGA WORO ALPHA, Senegal, 22 June 2007 – In this remote village at the Mauritanian border near Matam, northeastern Senegal, the 2007 Child Survival Days campaign is being remembered as a resounding success.
UNICEF and European Commission support Guinea worm eradication in Ghana
ACCRA, Ghana, 15 June 2007 – At a Guinea worm containment centre in Savelugu, northern Ghana, Assana Mohammed, 10, cries out in pain. Her eyes are shut and she cannot help but try to remove the health worker’s hand from her wound. Little by little, he is extracting a long white Guinea worm from her ankle.
‘Silent emergency’ of malnutrition threatens young lives in Yemen
TAEZ TOWN, Yemen, 11 June 2007 – ‘Taez Boy’ is 18 months old and severely undernourished. In an effort to save his life, his parents travelled a long way to the therapeutic feeding centre here in Taez Town, leaving behind another seven children, all under the age of 15.
Volunteers and helpline join forces to reduce maternal mortality in rural India
NEW YORK, USA, 29 May 2007 – A rigid social structure and gender inequality – which stretches from educational opportunities to health-care access and more – can be a deadly combination for women living in the villages of rural India.
Habiba’s story: Early marriage leads to tragedy for a young woman in Niger
MARADI, Niger, 29 May 2007 – Habiba, now 17, lives in a small village in southern Niger’s Tibiri region. Married three years ago, she has since endured a tragedy that illustrates some of the worst perils of early marriage.
‘Days of Peace’ promote child survival and development in Philippines conflict areas
NEW YORK, USA, 9 May 2007 – For decades, an often violent battle between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has raged in the picturesque countryside of the southern Philippines. The conflict has devastated thousands of villages, leaving children without access to essential services.
For children in Sierra Leone, poverty and malaria are a deadly combination
MAKENI, Sierra Leone, 25 April 2007 – Lying motionless on her tiny hospital bed, Rachel Fornah, 3, is barely breathing. Her unfocussed eyes appear to see nothing – not the nurse injecting more medicine into the tube attached to her head, nor her mother anxiously stroking her outstretched hand.
In Mozambique, protecting children and mothers from malaria
XAI XAI, Mozambique, 24 April 2007 – Zaida Alvero tenderly strokes the forehead of her frail five-month-old baby, Julieta, who lies almost lifeless on a hospital bed in intensive care with a tube inserted in her nose to help her breathe.
African Malaria Day 2007 pushes for global awareness and action
NEW YORK, USA, 24 April 2007 – Each year, between 350 million and 500 million people are infected with malaria, and 1 million die from the disease. Malaria accounts for one death every 30 seconds in Africa alone.
Rebuilding a safety net for new mothers in Indonesia
TANJONG VILLAGE, Indonesia, 20 April 2007 – On the outskirts of Banda Aceh, midwife Radliana is making a house call. She climbs the steps to a white house with a bright green door and knocks. “Salaam Alaikum,” she calls.
Global partners gather in Tanzania to discuss maternal, newborn and child health
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, 19 April 2007 – Political leaders, health professionals, researchers and activists are meeting here this week for the first-ever assembly of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken visits Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 18 April 2007 – UNICEF National Ambassador Clay Aiken has visited central Afghanistan to see for himself how UNICEF is trying to improve life for children in the region.
Bednets from Canadian ‘Spread the Net’ campaign to tackle malaria in Liberia
GATINEAU, Canada, 18 April 2007 – It is a lofty goal: to cover Africa in blue bednets and stop death by malaria. A recent announcement by UNICEF Canada unveiled an important partnership with the Canada-based ‘Spread the Net’ anti-malaria campaign, and together, the partners aim to reach this goal.
UNICEF helps train midwives to improve maternal and newborn care in Indonesia
KUPANG, Indonesia, 26 March 2007 – Just an hour’s flight from the tourism hub of Bali lies a string of islands known as East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). White sandy beaches, picturesque sunsets and warm, friendly people have made the tiny archipelago look like an idyllic spot.
Theatre groups spread health messages among Mozambique’s flood victims
SOFALA PROVINCE, Mozambique, 16 March 2007 – There are few sights more pleasing than seeing 100 children’s faces light up with laughter. That the source of their joy is a message of good health and hygiene, dressed up as theatre, only adds to the moment.
Nobel Prize-winning scientists share ideas with young leaders at BioVision Forum
LYON, France, 12 March 2007 – It's not every day that a group of children receives help on their science projects from Nobel Prize-winning scientists, especially when most of those children live in developing countries. But that's exactly what happened yesterday, the opening day of the BioVision Life Sciences Forum here, when a select group of 10 youth leaders hosted a breakfast for three Nobel Laureates.
Youth leaders brainstorm with top scientists at BioVision Forum
LYON, France, 9 March 2007 – Hannah Gama, 15, has traveled all the way from Malawi to meet some of the world’s top scientists gathering here for the BioVision World Life Sciences Forum.
Cherie Blair visits children and sees progress at renovated hospital outside Kigali, Rwanda
RWINKWAVU DISTRICT, Rwanda, 6 March 2007 – During a recent three-day visit to Rwanda to attend the 2007 Women Parliamentarians International Conference, Cherie Blair took one morning to visit a UNICEF-supported hospital outside the capital, Kigali.
Aid reaches children in Angola affected by flooding and cholera outbreak
NEW YORK, USA, 5 February 2007 – Until a year ago cholera was not a widespread problem in Angola, but in early 2006 an outbreak began and continued to grow over the subsequent months. No one was quite prepared for the scope of the crisis.
NBA hosts announcement of Gates funding for ‘Nothing But Nets’ malaria campaign
NEW YORK, USA, 4 January 2007 – ‘Nothing But Nets’, a campaign to fight the scourge of malaria in Africa, today announced its first-ever challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, up to $3 million in individual contributions to the campaign.
Health workers reach remote villagers in Ethiopia with tetanus vaccine
TURMI, Ethiopia, 18 December 2006 – The town criers had been out since dawn, walking around the domed, wood-framed huts, calling out and blowing their horns.
First-ever White House Summit on Malaria focuses on life-saving initiatives in Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 15 December 2006 – US President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush yesterday hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Malaria in Washington, DC.
Insecticide-treated nets take a bite out of malaria epidemic in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 13 December 2006 - Young Prince Mafunga was suffering under the weight of his malaria symptoms. For two days, he had a high fever, his head throbbed relentlessly and his joints burnt.
Measles and malaria campaign in Sierra Leone reaches 800,000-plus
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 28 November 2006 – A national measles and malaria campaign has been successfully carried out in Sierra Leone. An estimated 800,000 children under five have benefited from life-saving interventions during this major nationwide health initiative.
UK Members of Parliament and Chaka Chaka witness malaria control efforts
ADAMA, Ethiopia, 3 November 2006 – Two members of the British Parliament recently visited Malawi and Ethiopia to witness the countries’ malaria control efforts.
For a healthy pregnancy, teen mother receives medical care and a mosquito net
BOUAKÉ, Côte d’Ivoire, 19 October 2006 – “If you start the process, you must finish it. No one else is supposed to look at it or stir it for you. That will bring bad luck and the soap will spoil,” explains Mariame Diabagate, 17, as she mixes honey, lemon, coconut oil, carrots, green mud and some other ingredients together in a big pot.
Measles immunization campaign targets 29 million Nigerian children
EKEREMOR, Nigeria, 18 October 2006 – Nigeria has launched a massive immunization campaign to protect 29 million children against measles, a highly contagious virus that kills more Nigerian children than any other preventable disease.
UNICEF promotes exclusive breastfeeding to save children’s lives in Indonesia
FLORES, Indonesia, 17 October 2006 – With a broad smile and large, brown eyes, 15-month-old Filno seems the picture of a happy childhood. Unfortunately, the wispy-haired boy has rarely seen a healthy day in his life. Since he was four months old, he has suffered consistently from recurrent fever, influenza, asthma and a host of other health problems.
Better maternal health care saves the lives of women and children in Nepal
NEW YORK, USA, 27 September 2006 – More than 1 in every 200 pregnant women in Nepal dies giving birth. A lack of access to medical care, poor health education and the low status of women are the main causes. But by working with local communities, UNICEF and its partners are helping to reduce maternal deaths across the region.
Collaborative project saves lives in a remote Senegalese hospital
NIORO, Senegal, 7 September 2006 – Oumou Kalsoum Dramé just concluded her second antenatal visit at the Nioro District Hospital. After a thorough examination, including an ultrasound, the midwife has declared both Ms. Dramé and her future baby to be healthy.
One doctor makes a big impact on a hospital in rural Kenya
GARISSA, Kenya, 5 September 2006 – At Garissa Provincial Hospital in the remote North Eastern Province of Kenya, one doctor has had a big impact on local health. With help from UNICEF, Medical Superintendent Dr. Khadija Abdalla has transformed the small rural hospital into a highly efficent institution.
Community health workers reach out to quake-affected families in Pakistan
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 18 July 2006 – Firdaus, a 19-year old college student, entered the canvas-and-aluminium shelter of the Akhtar family in the ruins of Chela Bandi village, Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Roll Back Malaria Initiative receives boost in funding
NEW YORK, USA, 27 July 2006 – The global fight against malaria has received a major financial boost, thanks to contributions and new initiatives from the partners of the Roll Back Malaria Initiative.
Song and drama promote good hygiene and build a cleaner Nepal
KAPILVASTU, Nepal, 16 June 2006 – Meena Pandey and Dilmaya Mukhia, members of a children’s club in Nepal, sing a song they have composed to inspire villagers to keep their community clean.
April 2006: A trip to Huambo, Angola highlights education successes and malaria dangers
HUAMBO, Angola, April 2006 – We arrived in Huambo yesterday and though I’ve been in the country for two weeks only, I’m enjoying the break from Luanda’s heat and constant traffic jams. Today we are heading to Dende, a small village 20 km from Huambo, to visit a primary school built recently with funds from UNICEF Germany. We want to see the finished building and speak to some of the schoolchildren.
UNICEF Executive Director addresses UN special meeting to commemorate Chernobyl
NEW YORK, USA, 28 APRIL 2006 – At the United Nations today, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman addressed a special meeting of the General Assembly in remembrance of the Chernobyl disaster.
Twenty years later, the Chernobyl disaster still affects children’s health
CHERNOBYL, Ukraine, 25 April 2006 – On the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, UNICEF is urging the governments of countries still affected by fallout from the radioactive blast to take a simple yet effective step to save and improve lives.
On Africa Malaria Day 2006, prevention and treatment go hand in hand
LILONGWE , Malawi, 24 April 2006 – Barely one year into her life, Chisomo Mavuwa has already been struck by malaria three times. But something different happened on her last visit to the local clinic. This time, besides getting treatment for Chisomo’s illness, her mother Christina was given a free insecticide-treated net designed to protect the child directly from the mosquitoes that transmit the disease.
UNICEF unveils new tool to combat maternal mortality in India
NEW DELHI, INDIA, 6 April 2006 – In this country where a woman dies in childbirth every five minutes, UNICEF is unveiling a new method to save mothers’ lives: the Maternal and Perinatal Death Inquiries method, or MAPEDI.
West African music stars turn out for US premiere of ‘Roll Back Malaria’ concert film
NEW YORK, USA, 30 March 2006 – At the United Nations headquarters here last night, stars of the African music world and international public health experts put the spotlight on malaria, the single largest killer of children in Africa.
Under the moonlight, UNICEF’s mobile cinema helps prevent malaria in Sao Tome
SANTA CATARINA, Sao Tome and Principe, 20 March 2006 – There is no need to dim the lights in the open-air theatre of Santa Catarina, a small, impoverished fishing village on the northern shore of the island of Sao Tome. As the sound of music signals that it is showtime, nature takes care of the lighting.
UNICEF helps fight cholera outbreak
LUANDA, Angola, 2 March 2006 – Fifteen-month-old Jorge Rufino smiled when his photo was taken, even though he was still recovering from a bout with cholera. Jorge was lucky: His mother Maria Luísa had brought him in to UNICEF’s cholera centre as soon as he became ill.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore promotes salt iodization in India
JAIPUR, India, 18 November 2005 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore, accompanied by his wife, Lady Moore, arrived in Jaipur on Thursday, 17 November for a visit focused on promoting the use of iodized salt.
New global Partnership seeks major reductions in maternal and child deaths
NEW YORK, 12 September 2005 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today welcomed leading advocates for women and children to UNICEF’s global headquarters for the launch of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
Insecticide-treated nets save lives in Malawi’s fight against malaria
MWANZA, Malawi, 16 August 2005 – Malaria is a major killer of children in Malawi. But Magreta Makwemba sleeps soundly at night, knowing her family is safe – thanks to the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).
Madagascar: Progress in the fight against malaria
MAJAKANDRINA, Madagascar, 30 June 2005 – Her fever dangerously high, a small child rides to hospital in a UNICEF vehicle, the only available transportation. The hospital is several hours away, but she must go because her life is seriously threatened – as a result of a mosquito bite.
Burundi: New ECHO and UNICEF supported drug policy prevents child deaths
MUYINGA, Burundi, 27 June 2005 – When 8-month-old Sibonna first arrived at Burundi’s Muyinga Provincial Hospital, he was dying of malaria, a disease which kills more people in this African country than HIV/AIDS, war or any other cause. His mother had already succumbed to the disease.
Integrated health services for children show ‘remarkable’ results, Veneman tells World Health Assembly
NEW YORK, 16 May 2005 – Child deaths in remote parts of West Africa have declined dramatically since UNICEF and its partners began an integrated health programme aimed at protecting children and their mothers.
UNICEF and WHO launch ‘World Malaria Report’
NEW YORK, 3 May 2005 – UNICEF and the World Health Organization are today jointly launching the first-ever ‘World Malaria Report’, at UNICEF headquarters in New York.
‘Unite Against Malaria’ – Africa Malaria Day 2005
NEW YORK, 25 April 2005 – Today, five years after the first Africa Malaria Day, the disease is still Africa’s biggest killer of children. Ninety per cent of all malaria cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 3,000 children die from malaria every day.
Insecticide-treated nets help Malawi communities fight malaria
CHATOWA, Malawi, 22 April 2005 – The people of Chatowa know the dangers of malaria. It has killed many of their children and has left adults in the village too weak from fever to work or care for their families.
Business strategists needed to improve healthcare in developing countries
NEW YORK, 7 April 2005 – “We’ve got to stop thinking that it’s all about money,” says Josh Ruxin, Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at Columbia University, who is exploring ways of improving healthcare in developing countries. He believes it is critical to address the healthcare systems - or lack of - before we can expect donations to be wholly effective.
World Health Day 2005: A focus on women
DAKAR, Senegal, 7 April 2005 – “Yesterday I worked a lot. I pounded millet, made food, went to the market. I did all of this after feeling the first pains of childbirth,” says Fatou (not her real name), her eyes widening as she remembers.
Public health forum: Islamabad Declaration prioritizes child survival
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 6 April 2005 – Pakistan is prioritizing the improvement of maternal health and child survival. During the first week of April, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Saukat Aziz, presided over a landmark public health forum entitled ‘Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for Maternal Health and Child Survival in Pakistan’. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah delivered a keynote address at the forum.
UK donates $3 million to fight malaria in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 24 February 2005 - The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), a strong supporter of malaria prevention across the globe, is helping Zimbabwe battle malaria with a donation of $3 million through UNICEF.
Japan pledges 10 million mosquito nets to halt malaria
NEW YORK, 18 February 2005 - Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria. Carried by mosquitoes, this deadly disease affects millions of people in developing countries, particularly Africa where it causes 20 per cent of all child deaths.
UNICEF’s Bellamy addresses world’s paediatricians on new ways of increasing child survival
CANCUN/NEW YORK, 16 August 2004 – Several thousand paediatricians from around the world heard from UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy today about an innovative approach to child health care taking place in West Africa.
Malaria strikes everywhere but hits Africa the hardest
Every year hundreds of millions people in developing countries suffer from acute malaria, a mosquito-borne disease. This deadly disease takes a child’s life every 30 seconds worldwide, killing over one million people each year. Most of these deaths are children under five years of age and 90 per cent of malaria cases occur in Africa, south of the Sahara.
World Health Day 2004: ‘Road Safety is No Accident’
World Health Day, 7 April, 2004 focuses on ‘Road Safety’ in response to millions of deaths, dismemberments and other injuries that occur due to traffic accidents.