UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health are providing free vaccination to all children in Lebanon

UNICEF aims to mobilize the community and raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations so every child’s right to immunization is realized.

Simon Balsom
A baby is getting a vaccine in a primary health care center in Beirut
UNICEF/Lebanon 2019/Diego Ibarra Sanchez

30 April 2019

#VaccinesWork

Targeting all children through accelerated immunization campaigns

Nabila, a Lebanese grandmother, has brought two of her grandchildren to the Primary healthcare center in the Bekaa town of Taalabaya and is continuing her family’s tradition of routine vaccinations in the full knowledge that this is commitment that will continue until they are 15 years old. “Too many parents stop vaccinating their children at an early age. As a family, we’ve always completed full programs, and we’re always advising others to do the same”.

UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health are providing free vaccination to all children living in Lebanon. Through a combination of individually named vaccination cards and free vaccination vouchers, parents and caregivers receive timely reminders of where and when vaccinations should be given.

“The purpose of accelerated immunization is to protect children from contagious and life-threatening diseases like polio and measles, particularly because Lebanon is currently witnessing a measles outbreak”, Safaa Sleiman - Bekaa PHC Coordinator said, “we are doing our best to reach every household to understand what’s preventing parents from immunizing their children as we try to refer them to a nearby Primary healthcare center where quality vaccines are provided for free.”

 

UNICEF & the Ministry of Public Health are providing free vaccination to all children living in Lebanon. Through a combination of individually named vaccination cards & free vaccination vouchers, parents and caregivers receive timely reminders of where and when vaccinations should be given.

Fatma and Arwa are both Syrian mothers. They arrived with six children and are regularly in attendance at the Primary healthcare center. Arwa has also brought one of her neighbor’s children along for his routine vaccination.

“We know how important it is to have our children vaccinated”, they both agree, “and in particular that we do it regularly and on time. We do it for our children, and we are sharing our knowledge and experiences with friends, family and others with children in our neighborhood”.

“As the mothers of young children, our local public health center is a focus of our life”, Fatma and Arwa said, “over the years we’ve seen how the nurses take care of our children, and we trust their advice on all medical issues – including the importance of vaccinations”.

“We know how important it is to have our children vaccinated”. Fatma and Arwa both Syrian mothers.

A boy is getting ready to receive his second injection in a primary health care center in Beirut
UNICEF/Lebanon 2019/Fouad Choufany

UNICEF aims to mobilize the community and raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations so every child’s right to immunization is realized. In some towns, mobile health clinics have been deployed and in other towns, implementing partners use outreach immunization services to refer children to nearby centers or dispensaries or they run temporary vaccination clinics where children were vaccinated.

It is a simple and irrefutable fact that vaccines keep children alive and healthy by protecting them against diseases. Yet, globally, 1 in 7 children miss out on routine vaccinations, and one-quarter of deaths among children under 5 are from preventable diseases including measles that could have largely been prevented by vaccines. The vaccines, procured by UNICEF and certified by WHO are funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund “MADAD”.