This week’s video follows-up on yesterday’s post regarding Vaccination Week in the Americas. The Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Mirta Roses, explains that this year VWA will focus on the family, with special campaigns targeted towards seniors, women of reproductive age, children and adolescents.
In Haiti alone, an estimated 60,000 children under the age of five will receive life-saving immunization in the next few days.
UNICEF is providing vaccines, syringes and other equipment with financial assistance also provided by UNICEF and WHO.
Elizabeth Kiem is the online producer for unicefusa.org.
Eight years ago, a measles outbreak in Colombia and Venezuela compelled health ministers to band together to halt the spread of the childhood illness. It went well.
So well that other nations got on board to join efforts and synchronize campaigns to bolster immunity across borders. Today Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), which kicked off on April 24, is marked by 44 countries and territories in the hemisphere and at the ripe old age of eight … can claim pioneer status. (European Immunization Week is five years old; Mediterranean Vaccination Week just debuted.)
Recently, I had the privilege of joining a delegation from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in Houston, Texas, for a meeting with Kiwanis International regarding our proposal on maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) elimination for Kiwanis’ next Worldwide Service Project (WSP).
We met with senior members of Kiwanis leadership and were excited to share our vision for what a Kiwanis-UNICEF partnership could look like. After weeks of hard work, the meeting could not have been better. Free flowing discussions were encouraging and enlightening about how the program could evolve. It was exactly the kind of collaborative dialogue that we envisioned when we originally responded to the Kiwanis RFP and we look forward to continued dialogue so that Kiwanis’ experience and expertise will enrich the program design.
Our idea of a successful Kiwanis International and UNICEF collaboration is to design a program that would capitalize on the strengths of both organizations and finally eliminate MNT from those countries still suffering.
This is part of Kiwanis’ upcoming WSP that, like they did 15 years ago with the campaign to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders worldwide, will save and protect millions of lives and change the world. Right now, UNICEF is one of three organizations that might be fortunate enough to partner with Kiwanis and we are doing our best to create a program that will not only help children around the world but also provide hands on service, advocacy and fundraising opportunities to the Kiwanis Family.
Valentine’s Day is just about a week away. This year, give your special someone a gift that’s more meaningful and with an impact that can last a lifetime– the gift of hope to a child who needs it most from Inspired Gifts.
Inspired Gifts is an innovative program that gives you the opportunity to purchase actual life-saving items that will be shipped directly from both the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen and one of UNICEF’s many suppliers to one of over 150 countries where UNICEF serves. Inspired Gifts are actual items like warm blankets, water purification tablets, first aid kits, and oral rehydration salts.
Thirty years ago, only one out of five children were immunized against killer diseases like measles and polio. Throughout the developing world, millions of children were dying of illnesses that had all but disappeared in the world’s wealthier countries. Since then, a near miracle has taken place. Now, four out of five children are protected by vaccines. Polio is on the verge of elimination. Measles and tetanus deaths have been reduced dramatically. This miracle did not happen by itself.
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