UNICEF seeks to improve management of childhood diseases in Sudan
Sudan-UN, Health, 8/23/2005
As part of its campaign to improve the health of over 2 million children and women in Sudan over the next 12 months, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is seeking not only to provide medicines to treat diseases but also to promote better management of such illnesses in the home.
"Providing treatment for various childhood diseases is important but not enough," UNICEF's highest ranking officer in Sudan, Kadayapreth Ramachandran, said in welcoming a new $5.16 million donation from the Japanese Government.
"That's why this year's generous contribution from the Japanese Government will also be used to promote good skills for parents and other child care takers. This will improve the better management childhood illnesses in the home."
Japan has been a major contributor to the polio eradication program in Sudan for several years and the new donation will support UNICEF-assisted interventions aimed at improving access to primary health care and to contribute to the eradication of polio, prevention of measles, and reduction in the malaria cases among under-five children and pregnant women.
UNICEF and its partners, mainly the Ministry of Health, UN World Health Organization (WHO), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), United States Centers for Disease Control, Rotary International and many other non-governmental organizations are targeting over 2 million children and women over the course of the next 12 months with services, supplies and technical support.
While the contribution will be used to improve overall access to health care, a focus will be maintained, as in past years, on polio eradication, reducing child deaths due to measles, and reducing the number of malaria cases and deaths from malaria amongst children and pregnant women.
Measles may affect as many as 30 per cent of all children in between 9 and 59 months, claiming up to 12,000 lives annually. The funds will be used to improve immunization coverage against measles.
Between 7 and 8 million malaria cases occur in Sudan every year. The Japanese funds will provide over 300,000 long-lasting treated bed nets for the protection of 410,000 under five children and 150,000 pregnant women. It will also be used to purchase Artemesin Combination Therapy (ACT) for at least 328,000 cases of malaria.
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