Panafrican News Agency

Over 13 million Ivorian children vaccinated against measles, rubella

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) - Over 13 million children, aged between nine months and 14 years, were vaccinated against measles and rubella in 2018, thanks to the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to the Ivorian government, according to the annual report on the UN agency's activities.

Rubella, also called German measles or three-day measles, is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash.

UNICEF's intervention also focused on its support for the Expanded Programme on Routine Immunization (EPI), which aims to ensure that Côte d'Ivoire is vaccine-free for the second year in a row.

UNICEF has also supported the government in distributing more than 16 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to fight malaria.

In addition, UNICEF has allowed the introduction of the intrauterine balloon in almost all of the country's referral hospitals. This new device saves mothers' lives by reducing post-delivery bleeding.

It supported the expansion of paediatric HIV treatment services to reach 83% of the country's health centres that provide care for children who tested HIV-positive.

In terms of child nutrition, in 2018, more than six million children received at least one dose of vitamin A and deworming agent and 9,000 severely malnourished children were treated by some 2,500 health workers trained in malnutrition prevention.

UNICEF Representative in Côte d'Ivoire, Dr. Aboubacar Kampo, noted that their "mission is for every child in Côte d'Ivoire to be born and grow up healthy, protected from violence and exploitation, in a healthy environment, with access to clean water, safe food and quality education, wherever they are and wherever they come from.

In 2019, UNICEF said it will continue to support the Ivorian government to strengthen basic and community-based services, bring together more technical and financial partners to increase budgets for children.