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21 June 2010 - Child Health Days: children immunization campaign starts in North Sudan

Khartoum - The first Child Health Days campaign for 2010 started today, targeting all 15 North Sudan states. The campaign, which extends until the 23 of June, includes vaccinations, promotion of health awareness messages and other health interventions, that will benefit around 6.5 million children. 

The official launch of the campaign took place yesterday (20 June) at Suq Sitta Square in East Nile locality in Khartoum State at 10:30 am, with the attendance of the Undersecretary of the National Ministry of Health, Dr. Kamal Abdel Gadir, Khartoum State Minister of Health Dr. Igbal El Bashir, Mr. Yasir El Tayeb, Commissioner, Sharq El Neel locality, Mr. Mahendra Sheth, UNICEF Regional Health Advisor, UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg and the Representative of the World Health Organization in Sudan, Mohamed Abdur Rab.

The Child Health Days campaign is part of Sudan’s investment in child and maternal health, in order to take one further step towards the achievement of health-related Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to infant, child and maternal mortality. In this context, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health and with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization, Child Health Days campaigns are carried out twice a year.

“These interventions are effective against the major causes of child and maternal mortality, and can contribute significantly to their reduction”, said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan. “However, further steps need to be taken, in order to reach the largest number of households in remote areas where infant and maternal mortality are regrettably high”.

The interventions during the Child Health Days will include oral polio vaccines for children under the age of five, vitamin A supplements for children between 6 and 59 months old and de-worming tablets for children between 1 and 5 years old. These interventions will directly benefit up to 6.5 million children in North Sudan..

The interventions also include the promotion of awareness messages among adults about safe and beneficial health practices, such as breastfeeding, hand-washing, routine immunizations, home care of diarrhoea, and the importance of prenatal care and safe delivery by a trained attendant. Furthermore, in conflict-affected areas such as the three Darfur states, as well as Blue Nile and South Kordofan, peace-promotion messages will be distributed, reaching up to one million households.

The Child Health Days campaign, which will be carried out door to door by hundreds of volunteers and  health workers, is available for all 15 states of North Sudan, and target communities are expected to take full advantage of the health interventions offered and obtain the maximum benefit from the results of timely immunizations in children and health awareness messages.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.



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