UNICEF correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on an immunization programme in rural Viet Nam.
Bringing immunization to remote villages
|The Tram Y Te Xa sub-district health centre in Lao Cai province is holding an Immunization Day today. Mothers have heard about the event through community outreach. (c) UNICEF Video|
“At the village, the health worker explained to me how important it is for my children to get vaccinated so they don’t get sick,” she says. There are 20 children in her village. All of them have been vaccinated, including Giang Thi Mu’s two older daughters, who are healthy, she says.
Saving children’s lives
Every year, vaccination prevents an estimated 2–3 million deaths in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles. It’s one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions available against these diseases.
|Programmes like this one in Viet Nam are part of intensified efforts by UNICEF and partners to reach the fifth child - that one in five children globally who is not immunized. (c) UNICEF Video|
Whether they live in remote communities or city slums, whether they belong to ethnic minorities or marginalized groups, UNICEF is intensifying its commitment to reach the poorest and most disadvantaged children, those without access to education, health, protection and rights. Most live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Scaling up efforts to reach the most vulnerable
UNICEF Viet Nam is scaling up its efforts to identify underserved populations and bring life-saving immunization services to them. It’s an effort UNICEF is undertaking all over the world, as well as improving vaccine supply chain management and strengthening community engagement. UNICEF also wants to introduce new and under-used vaccines to protect more children against preventable diseases.
That fifth child has a right to live, too.
By Sabine Dolan