Philippines Receives Php 145.5 M Grant from UNICEF, Government of Canada to Boost Routine Immunization for Children

27 February 2024
GAC launch
UNICEF Philippines/2024/Gillian Salvador
Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines David Hartman, Secretary of Health Teodoro J. Herbosa, and UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov signed a PHP 145.5 million (CAD$3.4 million) partnership to integrate COVID-19 vaccination, routine immunization, and proven approaches that make quality primary health care accessible for people in the Philippines

MANILA, 27 February 2024 – The Philippines, through the Department of Health (DOH), receives PHP 145.5 million (CAD$3.4 million) from the Government of Canada as part of a strategic partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to integrate COVID-19 vaccination, routine immunization, and proven approaches that make quality primary health care accessible for Filipinos.

Secretary of Heath Teodoro J. Herbosa, Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines David Hartman, and UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov reiterated their commitments to this joint endeavor at today’s launch, accompanied by regional, municipal, and local officials.

The partnership prioritizes provinces and cities with the highest number of children who have not had a single shot of childhood vaccines and with the greatest number of unvaccinated individuals for COVID-19 booster vaccines. The areas include select municipalities in the provinces of Antique, Davao Del Norte, and Sarangani; General Santos City; and the Special Geographic Area in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The collaboration uses a gender-responsive approach that seeks to address particular needs and barriers including the socio-economic, cultural, and developmental disparities between men and women and that ensures equitable access to vaccines and has proven effective in strengthening a health system so that it can deliver quality, inclusive, and affordable primary health care for all.

To date, only 1.3m children in the Philippines (or 60 percent coverage) with childhood vaccines have been fully immunized, according to the most recently available official statistics in 2022. Millions of children with zero or incomplete vaccination are still at risk of outbreaks of deadly diseases like measles and polio since the ideal 95 percent coverage, especially for those not reached in previous years, has not yet been reached.

“We're grateful for Canada's generous PHP 145.5 million in support, reflecting a shared commitment to boost public health in the Philippines. Our collaboration with UNICEF integrates COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization, prioritizing areas with the highest number of unvaccinated individuals. Using a gender-responsive approach, we aim to achieve 95 percent coverage, addressing our standing as one of the top five countries with the highest number of zero-dose children. This partnership signifies a concerted effort to reach those not covered in previous years, Dahil sa Bagong Pilipinas, Bawat Buhay Mahalaga,” expressed DOH Secretary Herbosa.

Media contacts

Lely Djuhari
Chief of Advocacy and Communication
UNICEF Philippines
Tel: +639175675622
Lyn Aurora Legarteja
Media Specialist
Department of Health

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.

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