Funding from the European Union;making lifesaving immunization available free for Lebanon’s children
Helping reverse a decline in routine immunization and protecting Lebanon’s children from preventable diseases including measles, polio and meningitis, the European Union is funding vaccine provision
UNICEF & the European Union making lifesaving immunization available free of charge for every child in Lebanon
Today in Lebanon, and with the support of the European Union, UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health continue to provide all essential routine vaccines in more than 800 public primary healthcare facilities to reach all children residing in the country. What’s more, the vaccines are safe and provided free of charge when administered by a registered nurse and are stored in fully functional cold chain (such as solar refrigerators).
On arrival at a public primary healthcare center, parents are greeted by health specialists, who provide messages on the importance of routine vaccination in saving our children’s lives and protecting them from at least 10 vaccine preventable diseases by the age of 1.
The vaccines, funded by the European Union, are stored within fully functional cold chain, such as the solar refrigerators, where the correct temperature is maintained using solar energy back-up power units. Now, every one of Lebanon’s 800 PHCCs is equipped to provide the country’s children with all-important routine immunizations that are safely stored– free of charge.
A registered nurse prepares a vaccine. In any day, a moderately busy PHCC is equipped to administer routine immunization to over one hundred children. Open five days a week, PHCCs are an essential pillar of the public health in Lebanon and are accessible to all children in Lebanon.
The moment of immunization. Always a difficult experience for child and parent alike, nonetheless the pain is short term and helps provide a lifetime of protection against preventable diseases. Low-grade fever is a common side effect after any vaccination and goes away within few days.
The Oral Polio vaccine is administered swiftly through liquid drops in a child’s mouth. Mitigating 2020’s decline in routine immunizations, the European Union, UNICEF and MoPH joined forces to protect Lebanon’s children from devastating but vaccine preventable diseases, and to maintain Lebanon a Polio free country.
While attending the PHCC for immunization, public health workers take the opportunity to check other aspects of a child’s growth and health, allowing any issues to be spotted and addressed at an early stage.
Meticulous records are kept. Staff at PHCCs engage widely with their patients, and reach out via broadcast campaigns on social media, as well as messaging parents directly when a child’s next scheduled routine immunization visit is due.
Many of Lebanon’s public primary health care centres have become the popular heart of their communities. “I come to this centre because I’m always comfortable, and they treat us well”, reports another mother, Halloum. “The service is equal to that of private clinics; it’s well organized, and nurses are well-trained. In addition, they follow preventive procedures against coronavirus”.
Parents themselves are often the most vocal advocates for routine immunization. Johana, the mother of two young boys, says, “Every child should be vaccinated – it’s the only way to protect against many deadly but preventable illnesses. When we come, they also check the children for other conditions by measuring their height, weighing them, and giving a general examination”.
With the support of the European Union, UNICEF with MoPH continue to play a pivotal role in supporting Lebanon’s current and future immunization efforts. Vaccines keep children healthy and alive by protecting them against diseases, and every child that receives their scheduled vaccination is a potential life saved.
Together, the European Union, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Public Health are boosting routine immunization among Lebanon’s children – making it available free of charge, for every child.