UNICEF needs funding for immunizations in Pakistan and Mali

Apr 18, 2017
Woman in Mali receives an immunization
Nurse Aramata Diawara vaccinates Fanta Kamissoko, 22 years old and 6 months pregnant, against tetanus during a prenatal consultation at the Kita reference health center in the town of Kita, Mali. ©UNICEF/UNI100771/Asselin

With new UNICEF immunization initiatives ready to take place, we are reminded that every dollar Kiwanis contributes to The Eliminate Project is vitally important. UNICEF urgently needs funding and support in the next three months to carry out immunizations in Pakistan and Mali.

Right now, UNICEF is ready to immunize 1.8 million women in Pakistan, a country that is growing closer every day t
o eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. To actually implement these immunization plans and conduct two full immunization rounds, UNICEF urgently requires US$3.3 million. Without the funds, the immunization campaigns will have to be delayed, leaving mothers and their newborns completely unprotected against tetanus, which strikes the poorest of the poor and kills 90%-100% of the babies who contract it.

In Mali, where armed conflict stopped immunization plans in 2012, UNICEF is currently lacking US$600,000 to immunize 1.5 million women in 22 districts.

Due to geographical challenges, wealth inequities and the differences in coverage across provinces, almost half of children do not receive a full course of tetanus vaccinations. UNICEF has helped reached over 18.1 million women with more than two doses of vaccine. The Punjab province was validated for MNT elimination as of November 2016 while the Sindh Providence has completed all tetanus campaigns and is preparing for a pre-validation assessment. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan Provinces are now being targeted for immunizations to help over 1.8 million women.

Mali is still affected by the armed conflict that erupted in its northern regions in 2012, causing deteriorating security. This made access to these states fragile and the country now requires more operational support from UNICEF to deliver essential medications and medical equipment to children under 5 and pregnant women. UNICEF aims to target more than 1.5 million women requiring around $600,000 in funding.

Kiwanis has made a commitment to eliminate MNT. We must complete our pledges and put an end to this horrible disease.