News from the Field
May 23, 2013
Aisha wears a UNICEF-blue hijab to make her easily recognizable as a Volunteer Community Mobilizer in northern Nigeria where she lives. In each of her village’s 220 households, Aisha knows every child below age 5 by name. And, most of all, she knows which of the children have been vaccinated against polio. Many children do not receive the polio vaccine here, and irreversible paralysis affects one child out of every 200 infected with the virus. Aisha understands this statistic better than anyone. Aisha’s own daughter was that one child.
May 20, 2013
Elena López lives in a one-room house with a dirt floor, no electricity and no running water. She grows fruits and vegetables, and she has chickens and a few other small animals. Yet one of her daughters suffers from acute malnutrition, and the other three have lower-than-average body weight. In Guatemala, nearly half of all children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished. Today, the López family is being visited by Faustina Vásquez, a community health worker supported by UNICEF.
May 14, 2013
Some 450,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Jordan, with 75 percent of them staying in urban communities. In areas where Syrian families are concentrated, Jordanian schools run double shifts to accommodate the massive numbers of Syrian children desperate to continue their education. Some have been out of school for a year or longer, and being able to continue to study is key to the futures of these children. For many, it is a sign of hope. UNICEF is currently supporting the schooling of over 31,000 Syrian children in host communities in Jordan.
May 10, 2013
In January 2012, rebellion erupted in northern Mali. The Dicko family fled by truck, empty-handed, and arrived in Ségou just over a year ago. They are now are among an estimated 292,648 Malians who have fled the fighting in the North but have stayed within the country’s borders. According to the governor, little Ségou’s houses, riverbanks and yards have gained 36,000 people in the past year. UNICEF has provided kits containing everyday items like pots, mosquito nets and blankets, along with water, sanitation and hygiene items.
May 7, 2013
Vaccination rates in Somalia are low. In 2011, only 11 percent of children in Somaliland and 7 percent in Puntland received three doses of the DTP vaccine—which protects against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus—before their first birthdays. The new pentavalent (five-in-one) vaccine that was launched with UNICEF’s support in April offers protection against the DTP diseases as well as against Hib, which can cause pneumonia, meningitis and hepatitis B. Over 1.3 million pentavalent vaccines will be available to Somali children this year.