Every child has the inherent right to life, and the State has an obligation to ensure the child's survival and development.
- Article 6, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.
Healthy children grown into healthy adults, with opportunities to work, contribute to their communities and, in turn, raise healthy families. Good health is a child’s right and UNICEF works at scale across the world to take simple interventions and tested solutions to improve child health and child survival rates.
Clean water to drink and bathe in, improved sanitation, routine childhood immunisation and good, nutritious food are all simple solutions to realising a child’s right to good health.
We are helping children survive some of the world's deadliest, but easily preventable, diseases' including HIV and AIDS, tetanus, meningitis, malaria, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and whooping cough.
Since UNICEF’s founding, our expert teams across more than 190 countries have built an extensive global health presence and work daily to bring practical solutions to the women and children at greatest risk, such as those living in communities affected by famine or poverty.
UNICEF Australia currently supports the following child survival programs:
- Sustainable Introduction of New Vaccines in Pacific Island Countries as a Comprehensive Package to Improve Child Survival
- Improving Child Survival through Quality Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services in Zimbabwe (supported by the Australian Government)
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for Vaccine and Health Supply Delivery in Vanuatu (supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s InnovationXchange)
- Saving Lives, Spreading Smiles – Early Essential Newborn Care in Papua New Guinea (supported by the Australian Government)
- Improvement of Health Care Quality in Timor-Leste (supported by the Australian Government)
Program snapshot: Life-saving care in remote Ethiopia
Strong health systems are important to the health and development of strong children, but when medical care is far away and only accessible by donkey or camel, even the strongest of health systems are of little use.
In Ethiopia, a UNICEF project is ensuring health care is accessible to even the most remotely located families. Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams (MHNTs) manage and treat common illnesses and combat hunger and malnutrition, prioritising the care of mothers and children. More complicated or critical cases are referred to a health facility where health workers health posts receive six months of training and regularly update their skills and knowledge.
Above: Mobile health and nutrition team leader, Kalid Ibrahim Abdirkadir, 22, prepares a vaccination at a temporary health station in remote Ethiopia, where he is conducting a health screening. Kalid travels harsh terrain to reach the children he meets in his clinics. They gather from among the farming communities and meet Kalid’s team under the shade of acacia trees set up as stations for treating mothers and their babies. Kalid has been trained to use simple tools to diagnose malnutrition and advise mothers on the care and health of their children. He also gives children routine vaccinations to help prevent common childhood illnesses that, far from medical help, can be a life sentence for these children.