Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A New Model For Child Survival In Africa

Date:
December 21, 2004
Source:
World Health Organization
Summary:
In the first nationwide campaign of its kind, Togo’s children will receive four life-saving interventions at once. The landmark campaign, launched today, intends to reach one million children under-five with vaccines to prevent measles and polio, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and deworming tablets.

LOME/NEW YORK/GENEVA -- In the first nationwide campaign of its kind, Togo’s children will receive four life-saving interventions at once. The landmark campaign, launched today, intends to reach one million children under-five with vaccines to prevent measles and polio, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and deworming tablets.

Related Articles


“Measles and malaria are the two biggest child killers in Africa,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy. “If widely implemented, these nation-wide integrated campaigns may become the single most important step towards reducing child deaths in Africa. Creative new approaches like this are the key to ensuring the survival of thousands.”

Togo’s integrated campaign, which runs through to the 19th of December, aims to reach almost one million children around the country, many of whom live in rural areas - some completely inaccessible by road.

“Immunization campaigns can reach almost every child in poor countries,” said Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “Using them to deliver other life-saving interventions would be a major contribution towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal for reducing child mortality.”

More than US$ 5.4 million has been spent on the campaign of which almost US$ 790 000 has been raised by UNICEF and WHO, through the support of partners such as the UN Foundation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross and the Canadian International Development Agency.

In addition, 2680 volunteers and 1910 vaccinators have been recruited to protect all children under five with the four life-saving interventions.

Since 1990, Togo has made substantial efforts in measles mortality reduction. A catch-up campaign carried out in 2001 reached over 95% of children under fifteen years of age. Togo has reduced measles deaths by 99% as compared to the 1996-2001 period. Much of this success is owed to countrywide immunization days mobilizing neighbourhood health committees and religious and traditional leaders to encourage mothers to bring their children for vaccination.

Despite improvements in routine immunization coverage almost half of Togo’s children born since 2001 are still at risk from measles – a completely preventable disease that affects over 30 million children each year and kills over 540 000 worldwide. It is hoped that by combining measles vaccination with the offer of a free mosquito net and other health interventions, many more children will be reached.

In Togo, malaria is a year-round problem that threatens the entire population. It is responsible for thousands of deaths each year and 40% of public health expenditure. Many of these deaths could have been prevented through the use of a long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN).

Yet in 2003, only 15% of Togolese children under-five slept under a mosquito net and barely 2% slept under a LLIN. To date, poverty has been the major barrier to net ownership. Even though the average price of a net is only about two to five US dollars, it is still beyond the reach of poor households.

UNICEF and WHO believe that cost should not be a barrier to making malaria interventions – whether preventative or curative - available to all young children and pregnant women.

Malaria remains the largest killer of children in Africa, taking a child’s life every 30 seconds. Over one million people die from malaria each year, over 900 000 are children under five years of age, with about 90% of malaria deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

Public health multi-tasking has had remarkable success on a smaller scale, but has never yet been taken to a national level. In addition to a free LLIN and a measles vaccine, Togo’s children will also receive:

* The polio vaccine to protect against poliomyelitis, a highly contagious, incurable viral infection of the nervous system which can cause crippling paralysis or even death * Deworming tablets to expel intestinal worms and ultimately lower the rate of parasites. Intestinal parasites are a significant cause of malnutrition, severe anaemia, delayed puberty and problems with learning and memory.

Measles and malaria prevention and treatment along with these other interventions require the same health infrastructure and, more importantly, target the same vulnerable group – children. By combining all four at one time, governments can save money and lives.

“These health interventions complement each other perfectly,” said Mrs AHO Suzanne, Minister of Health, Togo. “Nothing like immunization has the potential to reach this many children and the prospect of a free mosquito net is a powerful incentive that will increase coverage.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Health Organization. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Health Organization. "A New Model For Child Survival In Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219132932.htm>.
World Health Organization. (2004, December 21). A New Model For Child Survival In Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219132932.htm
World Health Organization. "A New Model For Child Survival In Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219132932.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins