Tuvalu launches typhoid campaign

29 February 2024
Tuvalu launches typhoid campaign
Tuvalu Department of Health

Funafuti, Tuvalu 29 February 2024 – The Tuvalu Department of Health launched their typhoid vaccination campaign last week. Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and UNICEF, the Tuvalu Department of Health launched the vaccination campaign at a ceremony at the Niutao Community Hall in Funafuti.  

As part of the support, DFAT and UNICEF delivered 10,000 doses of typhoid vaccines as part of the government’s proactive measures to prevent a typhoid outbreak in the country. This campaign leverages existing efforts by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to invest in and strengthen routine immunization system. This includes the expanded cold chain storage, increased capacity of health care workers in injection and vaccine administration safety, and community engagement. 

“A typhoid outbreak in the atoll nation of Tuvalu could have catastrophic consequences for the country’s health systems and the access to health care for the public,” said Tuvalu’s Permanent Secretary of Health Ms Lily Tangisia Faavae. “We are grateful to the Australian Government and UNICEF for their assistance.” 

Meanwhile, the Australian High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Brenton Garlick commended Tuvalu Government’s proactiveness in protecting its people.  

“Australia provided financial assistance to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines across the Pacific. But what’s important isn’t the dollar value – it’s how this support has been delivered. The Ministry of Health was able to pivot its COVID-19 program, with the assistance of UNICEF, the Tuvalu Red Cross and Australia to respond to the typhoid outbreak, demonstrating a true partnership approach which is flexible and meets the needs of Tuvalu.” 

The Tuvalu Department of Health will begin the vaccine rollout in schools and communities in Funafuti before venturing to the outer islands. The vaccines will be administered to people between the ages of 9 months to 65 years.

Commenting on the handover, UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch assured support to the Tuvalu Government through interventions beyond the vaccine delivery.  

“Our support extends beyond the delivery of the vaccines. We are working with relevant partners including the Government to ensure that every child and every eligible citizen are vaccinated,” he said.  

UNICEF will continue to ensure an effective introduction of the typhoid vaccines through several interventions such as capacity building of health workers. This will be complemented with a robust community engagement plan to increase demand for the typhoid vaccines in the communities.

Moreover, UNICEF will continue working with relevant stakeholders including DFAT, Department of Health in Tuvalu, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reach every corner of the country.

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Notes to editors:

About DFAT in Tuvalu:   

Australia and Tuvalu cooperate closely on security and development and will continue working together to realise the vision of the Te Kete (Tuvalu's National Development Strategy) of 'a peaceful, resilient and prosperous Tuvalu', and is committed to working with Tuvalu on our shared health priorities. 

For more information on Australia’s development partnership with Tuvalu, visit https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/tuvalu/development-assistance/development-assistance-in-tuvalu

For more information, please contact: 

Avneel Chand UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 722 0806, aachand@unicef.org 

Media contacts

Avneel Chand
Communication Officer
UNICEF Pacific
Tel: 7220806

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