More than 3.1 million Iraqi children to be vaccinated against polio

Health authorities in Iraq in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have launched a campaign to reach more than 3.1 million children under five years of age with lifesaving polio vaccinations.

The five-day campaign aims to target children in 65 districts in the governorates of Baghdad, Babylon, Diwaniya, Diyala, Muthanna, Thi-Qar, Missan and Basra.

“Over the years, WHO, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF have worked hard to improve the immunization coverage in the country. Therefore it is very important that we keep building on our work by making sure that children are vaccinated against childhood preventable diseases like polio, hence keeping Iraq free of polio” said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative for Iraq.

“During this second phase of the campaign, we want to reach all the children under 5 years regardless of their previous vaccination status with Oral Polio Vaccine leaving no one out no matter where they are,” added Dr Adham

WHO supported the development of micro plans to guide the vaccination team day by day, mobilized and trained 1300 supervisors and more than 13000 vaccinators to carry out the campaign. In addition, it is also paying all the vaccination costs including transportation and other incentives to ensure that all children are reached using the door-to-door and at fixed centers stationed in health facilities strategy.

“These vaccines act as a shield, protecting children and babies from diseases, saving thousands of lives in Iraq each year. UNICEF continues to work hard with our partners to ensure that vaccines reach as many children as possible,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.

UNICEF worked to ensure that beneficiaries are aware of the importance of the vaccination campaign and that vaccines are properly forecasted, stored and managed; it also provided technical support to public health workers as they developed a detailed and up to date map of target children irrespective of whether the children are IDPs, refugees, returnees or in host communities, or whether they live in urban, rural, official or unofficial settings.

This is the second phase of the polio campaign after the first one conducted in September that reached 2.6 million children. Vaccines remain the most cost-effective preventive measure against vaccine-preventable diseases like polio, WHO, and UNICEF are committed to supporting the health authorities to reach every eligible child in the country with the needed vaccines irrespective of their location.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, UNICEF launches an online petition asking decision-makers to invest more in Iraqi children

This week, UNICEF Iraq launched its #Pledge4Children petition to kick off its celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, or CRC.

The CRC is the most ratified human rights treaty in history and the most comprehensive set of rights for children. When world leaders came together, in a rare moment of international unity, to adopt the CRC, they committed themselves to fulfilling their obligations by ensuring that every child and adolescent is able to exercise his or her full rights.

The Government of Iraq signed up to the convention in June 1994.

“By ratifying the convention, Iraq committed itself to making sure every child is protected, educated, and able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life,” explained UNICEF Iraq Representative Hamida Lasseko.

Tremendous progress has been made since then, despite years of conflict and instability in the country. More, however, still needs to be done to ensure that children in Iraq are protected and have their full rights as enshrined in the CRC, including their right to education, play, freedom, and safety.

In order to do so, UNICEF Iraq is asking the Iraqi public to endorse its #Pledge4Children online asking decision-makers to reaffirm their commitment to children’s rights.

“We are calling on all of you to show your support for children and adolescents in Iraq. Every voice counts. We want you to add yours to our campaign by signing our petition and pledge for children today,” added Ms Lasseko.

The pledge calls for decision-makers to:

  • Increase public investments in quality health care, quality education, and safe water, so that every child and adolescent has a fair chance to reach his or her full potential
  • Listen to children and adolescents impacted by our policies and services and take their voices into consideration when formulating policies that impact their lives
  • Ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence and abuse

#Pledge4Children is part of UNICEF’s year-long run of activities, workshops and partnerships to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the CRC and raise awareness about children’s rights in Iraq.

Listen to Ms. Lasseko’s full message in this video & Sign the petition and #Pledge4Children to call on Iraqi leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child in Iraq and invest more in children.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF reiterate their commitment to Universal Health Coverage for every person, anywhere, anytime in Iraq

Today, as the world commemorates World Health Day with the theme, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF recommit to supporting the Government of Iraq ensure that every person in Iraq has access to quality health care services, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of achieving universal health coverage by 2030.

Iraq has made considerable progress of striving to ensure access to quality and affordable health care services for its citizens over the past 25 years. The country has seen great improvement in life expectancy from 68.1 to 70.3 years; neo-natal mortality have gone down from 27 to 17% per 1000 live birth, while under five mortality has reduced from 54 to 30%. However, more needs to be done in order to build on these achievements and ensure equitable access to essential health services, irrespective of socio-economic status or geographic location.

Accessing UHC means providing access to essential quality care and protection. This entails integration of good stewardship, adequate public financing, qualified and motivated health workforce, access to quality medicines and health products, functional health information systems and people-centered service delivery systems. WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF are working closely with the authorities in Iraq at the national and subnational levels to strengthen health systems for better service delivery.

WHO continues to support the Iraqi Ministry of Health in prepositioning mobile clinics in areas with limited or no access to health care services, procuring medicines and other medical supplies, as well as developing strategies, guidelines and policies in favor of universal health care. In addition, the organization is working to build the capacity of health workers through trainings and is supporting the rehabilitation of damaged and destroyed health facilities.

Women and girls in particular are still unable to realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights and suffer from gender-based violence. Protracted displacement places an extra burden, making them unable to access reproductive health services in a timely manner, leading to life-threatening risks during pregnancy and delivery. UNFPA continues to prioritize maternal health, childbirth and newborn care services through the support of 76 facilities to mitigate the risks of maternal deaths and ensure no pregnancy is unattended by birth attendants in Iraq.

UNICEF has focused much of its healthcare work on immunization, newborn care, and nutrition across Iraq, including among vulnerable communities such as the internally displaced and hard to reach areas. Although 90% of under-fives received polio and measles vaccinations last year, only half of under ones got all the vaccinations required to ensure a healthy childhood. Without adequate immunization, Iraqi children have significantly higher risks of developing debilitating diseases and lifelong disabilities.

On this World Health Day, the UN reiterates its commitment to work with the Government to bring the country one-step closer to an Iraq where everyone has rights, choices, and access to quality health services. Together, we can contribute to ensuring that the people of Iraq are among the global one billion more people exercising their human right to have access to quality health services.

(Source: UN)