TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 15 (PIA) – As part of its continuing assistance to the recovery and rehabilitation of the disaster-hit areas of the Philippines, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will formally turnover to the Philippine Government immunization equipment and supplies on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
UNICEF’s Margaretha Francia told the Philippine Information Agency that the turnover will be held at 12 noon at the Sagkahan District Health and Birthing Center in Tacloban City.
The formal turnover of immunization equipment to the Philippine Government will be attended by Department of Health Undersecretary Janette Garin, Mr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative, Dr. Willibald Zeck, UNICEF Philippines Health and Nutrition Section Chief, Dr. Benjamin Lane, Health Cluster Head of World Health Organization, Humanitarian Actors and Partners and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
This turnover ceremony will hand over the equipment and vaccines to the Department of Health as a symbol of the continuing support of UNICEF to the Philippine government and to Filipino children, Ms. Francia said.
UNICEF is supporting the Philippine government to reestablish/strengthen its national immunization program and make it disaster-resilient. Due to the sensitive nature of vaccines, support is needed for the proper equipment, transport, storage and distribution so that children can get the most benefit out of these vaccines.
Typhoon Yolanda, the most powerful storm ever recorded, resulted in the displacement of 4.4 million persons including more than 1.8 million children. Health care infrastructures have been severely damaged and health workers were victims as well. UNICEF reaches out to the most vulnerable children in the Philippines especially those affected by disasters. In the event of emergencies, immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions to protect children from illnesses.
UNICEF, which is currently supplying vaccines reaching 36% of the world's children, works with partners and manufacturers to obtain vaccines at affordable prices while maintaining a healthy market.
UNICEF works with governments, partners and communities to increase demand for immunization establish better cold chain and logistic systems; design approaches to “reach the unreached”; and increase national ownership for immunization. (PIA 8)