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UN agencies launch campaign to boost child survival in Somalia
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12:15, December 27, 2008

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UN agencies in Somalia have launched a multi-million dollar campaign to improve child survival rates in the strife-torn nation, said a UN news release Friday.

The Child Health Days campaign, aimed at more than 1.5 million children under the age of five and women of child-bearing age, was jointed launched Thursday by the UN Childre's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

It will include vaccinations against measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio. The package of preventive care will also include vitamin A supplements, nutritional assessments, de-worming, the distribution of oral rehydration salts and water purification tablets.

The campaign also aims to promote breastfeeding and tetanus toxoid vaccination of girls and women aged 15 to 49.

"This campaign is historic because it marks the launch of a multi-million dollar strategy to improve the survival rates of all Somali children," said UNICEF Representative for Somalia, Christian Balslev-Olesen.

"It is our largest-ever campaign and it relies on partnerships for its outreach and its success," he added.

The UN estimates that some 3.2 million people, or 40 percent ofthe population, are in need of assistance. In addition, around one in six children under the age of five in southern and central Somalia is currently acutely malnourished.

Source: Xinhua

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