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UNICEF applauds continued “child days” in Uganda

Agency urges national health service initiative to reach every child

A child receives a de-worming tablet during "Child Days" activities conducted in the Erute IDP camp, Lira District
KAMPALA, 1 November 2004 - UNICEF in Uganda today congratulated the Ministry of Health for starting the year’s second round of a national initiative to further improve the health status of children and women. 

The November 2004 “Child Days,” officially commencing today with the support of UNICEF, WHO and other partners, will accelerate routine health service activities throughout the month, using delivery systems in place at the district level.  The first nation-wide “Child Days” was conducted in May 2004.

Activities in November, in all of Uganda’s 56 districts, will include the provision of Vitamin A supplementation to children aged 6 months to 5 years; routine and catch-up immunizations, with an emphasis on measles immunizations, for children under age 1; de-worming for children aged 1 to 14 years; and vaccinations against maternal and neonatal tetanus for pregnant women.  The November “Child Days” also aims to reach at least 90 per cent of all children under 5, living in camps for the internally displaced in the conflict-affected districts of northern and eastern Uganda, with measles immunizations, de-worming programmes and high doses of Vitamin A.

Public awareness messages on health, nutrition and sanitation issues (such as the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and sleeping under insecticide-treated nets) will be disseminated during the month.

UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Martin Mogwanja, said improving the Vitamin A status of young children would dramatically increase their chances for survival.  “Vitamin A supplementation in Uganda, where more than half of children under the age of five are Vitamin A deficient, is a fight against overall mortality including death due to measles and diarrhoea.  ‘Child Days’ will be about saving lives.”

“It is the basic right of every child and every woman in Uganda to access the highest standard of healthcare, whether that person is living in a conflict-affected district or where peace prevails.  Here is an opportunity to uphold that right and to make a difference for the health of future generations,” said Mogwanja.

UNICEF supports the implementation of “Child Days” through the provision of funds, technical assistance and supplies.

For more information, please contact:

Chulho Hyun, UNICEF Kampala 077 222347, chyun@unicef.org

Anne-Lydia Sekandi, UNICEF Kampala 077 409016, alsekandi@unicef.org




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