27 October 2022

UNICEF water pumps: a source of life, health and resilience

Drinking a glass of water is a trivial routine for many, but for millions of people worldwide  accessing safe water still requires long journeys or strenuous work. In 2020, 1 in 4 people lacked access to water that was free from contamination and available when needed, and 1 in 10 people still needed to walk more than 30 minutes to collect safe…, From diesel to solar power, Motor-powered pumps can serve big communities and extract large volumes of water, eliminating or reducing the time people spend queuing or walking to collect it. In Nigeria, for example, two health facilities were desperately in need of a safe supply. At Shallow wells no more Dogon Kuka Primary Health Centre in Yobe State , a shallow well marked…, Sustainable sources of water, UNICEF Nigeria’s Water and Sanitation Manager, Michael Forson, explains that the installation of solar-powered systems in the country was the result of a decision taken years ago to move away from water pumps driven by diesel generators. “The cost to operate a supply system for a community is vital. The price of a litre of diesel can increase so…, For small communities, human-powered pumps, For small communities with up to 200 people who live no more than 200 metres from a water source, human-operated pumps, especially handpumps, may be a better solution than electric pumps. UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, drills boreholes, installs handpumps, provides spare parts and trains people in the community on how to operate and…, Early development, For almost 50 years, UNICEF has been working to promote the use of water pumps that meet the needs of local communities. In 1974, UNICEF and the Government of India recognized the need for a better hand pump than those available on the market. They were looking for an inexpensive new pump that had a simple design and was easy to use and maintain.…, Water is everything, Follow UNICEF’s installation of a brand-new hand pump and the happiness it brings to the children of Dialangou in Mali.
08 December 2021

COVID-19: What parents should know

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of children and their families around the world. UNICEF is working with health experts to promote facts over fear, bringing trustworthy guidance and answering some of the questions that families might have., What is COVID-19?, COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease., What are the symptoms of COVID-19?, Many COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu, the common cold and other conditions, so a test is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and can range from very mild to severe illness. Some people who have been infected don’t have any symptoms. The most common symptoms are…, How does the COVID-19 virus spread?, The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small droplets when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles can range in size from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols, and people can be contagious whether or not they are displaying symptoms. A person can be infected when aerosols or droplets…, Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?, Yes, even though COVID-19 vaccines have been developed as rapidly as possible, they must go through rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and effectiveness. Only if they meet these standards can a vaccine receive validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies. >> Read…, How do COVID-19 vaccines work?, >>  Read: How to talk to your children about COVID-19 vaccines >>  Read: Advice for before, during and after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine >>  Read: How to talk to your friends and family about COVID-19 vaccines, Will my child be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine? , Children are not amongst the priority groups for receiving COVID-19 vaccines and that this will remain the case for many countries in the world. This is because the focus is on protecting those most at risk of severe disease and death due to COVID-19 – the elderly, those with other illnesses and front line health workers. These populations must be…, I’ve heard about a variant called Omicron. How concerned should I be?, It’s normal for viruses to mutate over time. Experts are constantly monitoring new variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including Omicron, to see if they spread more easily, cause more severe disease, or could have an impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. For the moment, we don’t have answers to all these questions. New variants…, Are any of these new COVID-19 variants more dangerous for children? , Experts are continuing to monitor these variants around the world to better understand their impact, including on children. So far, the evidence doesn’t suggest that these variants are specifically targeting children, and severe illness in young people remains relatively rare. Parents should continue to encourage their children to take the same…, Do the COVID-19 vaccines work against the new variants?, Experts around the world are continuously studying how the new variants affect the behaviour of the virus, including any potential impact on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. But in the meantime, the important thing to do is to get vaccinated and continue measures to reduce the spread of the virus – which helps to reduce the chances for the…, I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to get tested for COVID-19?, If you have been fully vaccinated but are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor about whether you should get tested., What is ‘Long COVID’? Can children be affected? , Post COVID-19 condition, also sometimes referred to as ‘Long COVID,’ is a term used to describe symptoms persisting for weeks or months in some people after the initial recovery from COVID-19 infection.  More research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of COVID-19, but young adults and children without underlying chronic medical…, How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?, Recent surges of COVID-19 in some countries are a reminder of the importance of continuing to take precautions. Here are some things you and your family can take to help avoid infection: Avoid crowded places, confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, and try to practice physical distancing from people in public, keeping at least 1 metre…, Should I wear a medical mask to protect against COVID-19?, The use of a medical mask is advised if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect others, or if you are caring for someone who may have COVID-19. If masks are worn, they must be used and disposed of properly to ensure their effectiveness and to avoid any increased risk of transmitting the virus. Disposable face masks should…, How does COVID-19 affect children?, We are still learning how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected and transmit the virus, although older people and/or those with pre-existing medical conditions seem more likely to develop serious illness. There are reports of a rare but serious multisystem inflammatory syndrome affecting children and…, What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?, Seek care early if your child is having symptoms and try to avoid going to public places (workplace, schools, public transport) to prevent it spreading to others., What precautions should I take for my family if we travel?, Anyone planning a trip should always follow local and national guidance on whether it is advisable to travel. Those traveling should check the advisory for their destination for any restrictions on entry, quarantine requirements on entry, or other relevant travel advice. If flying, it is also recommended to consult the guidelines for the airline…, Can pregnant women pass COVID-19 to unborn children? , At this time, we still do not know if the virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. To date, the COVID-19 virus has not been found in vaginal fluid, in cord blood, breastmilk, amniotic fluid or the placenta. Research is still ongoing. Pregnant women should continue to follow appropriate precautions to protect themselves…, Is it safe for a mother to breastfeed if she is infected with COVID-19?, Yes, this should continue with appropriate precautions. There is no evidence to date that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through breastfeeding. Breastmilk provides antibodies that protect babies against many infections. Breastfeeding significantly reduces the risk of death in newborns and young infants, provides lifelong health benefits for…, I’m worried about bullying, discrimination and stigmatization. What’s the best way to talk about what’s happening?, It’s understandable if you’re feeling worried about the coronavirus. But fear and stigma make a difficult situation worse. Public health emergencies are stressful times for everyone affected. It’s important to stay informed and to be kind and supportive to each other. Words matter and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive…, There’s a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 online. What should I do?, There are  a lot of myths and misinformation  about coronavirus being shared online. UNICEF has  launched a portal  where you can find more information and guidance about COVID-19. It’s also advisable to keep up to date on travel, education and other guidance provided by your national or local authorities for the latest recommendations and news.…, COVID-19 has been described as a “pandemic”. What does that mean?, The term “pandemic” refers to the geographical spread of COVID-19, it is not an indication of the number of people who have been infected by the virus., How can I help?, You can join the fight against Covid-19 by spreading facts, not fear!, What is UNICEF doing?, UNICEF is working with the World Health Organization, governments and partners to equip children, pregnant women and their families with the information they need to know on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes the development of online training modules for health workers, and FAQs and guidance for parents, pregnant women and…