In Turkey, UNICEF works to improve health and nutrition for all children
Turkey has made tremendous achievements in the reduction of child mortality - one of the fastest reductions among the OECD countries. This is mainly due to effective decentralization of the health system which brought primary health services were brought closer to families in neighbourhoods and through ensuring high levels of immunization coverage, extensive pre-natal and primary health care for women and young children, including ensuring and promotion of improved practices (including exlusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months), and nutrition.
Despite the strong health services in place in Turkey, the 4 million refugees and asylum-seekers, of whom nearly 1.7 million are children, are straining the capacity of the system to cope.
Although health services have been made available to refugees, lack of awareness, language barriers and other challanges still prevent all children from getting the services they need.
In Turkey, UNICEF has a long standing partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH), and works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health sector partners to support the Turkish government’s response to the health needs of refugee children in the areas of immunization, early childhood development, and nutrition.