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Four and a half million Rwandan children targeted for life-saving interventions

UN Supports bi-annual Mother and Child Health Week

Kigali, Rwanda, April 27, 2010 - During a week long campaign, launched today by the First Lady of Rwanda, millions of children and women across the country will be reached with a package of critical life-saving interventions to accelerate maternal and child survival.

“Fifty percent of all deaths in the country can be prevented through the delivery of key nutrition and health interventions during weeks like this one”, said Dr. Joseph Foumbi, acting UN Resident Coordinator, at the launch ceremony. “Which is why the UN System in Rwanda, and WHO and UNICEF in particular, have provided technical and financial assistance to the week’s organization, supervision, social mobilization and the supply of all vitamin A capsules and deworming tablets”, he added.

An estimated 1.5 million children under the age of five will be reached this week with key life saving immunizations, vitamin A supplementation, while 1.3 million children from 12-59 months will be dewormed. An additional three million school children under the age of sixteen will receive tablets to prevent intestinal infection.

Over 302,000 pregnant women are targeted for anti-tetanus immunization and iron/folic acid as required, while some 48,000 new mothers, who delivered within six weeks, will receive vitamin A supplementation and deworming tablets.

Advice and services related to family planning, antenatal care, malaria – including the provision of long-lasting bed nets, breastfeeding, hygiene, nutrition and the importance of health insurance – will also be provided.

Although Rwanda has made considerable progress in improving maternal and child survival, around 25,000 children die each year before their first birthday.

For more information, please contact:

Misbah M. Sheikh, UNICEF Chief of Communication, Tel: +250 788300731, Email:
Cyriaque Ngoboka, UNICEF Communication Specialist, Tel: + 250 788 30 52 21, Email:



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