When many people think about the Pacific they think about tropical beaches and holidays. What many people don't realise is that children in the Pacific are seven times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than Australian children. In Kiribati, it is up to 14 times. It doesn’t need to be like this.

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Too many children are dying before they reach one year of age from preventable causes; do not have access to education, clean water, or even a toilet; and are still at risk of violence in their home or school.
 
“My passion to reach vulnerable children has led me to work with UNICEF for the past 20 years. As the current UNICEF Pacific Representative, every day reaffirms why UNICEF’s work is so vital and how much of that work is fuelled by your support.” Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative.
 
The East Asia and Pacific region contains one quarter of the world’s children, however a lack of funding compounded with difficult to access islands mean these children face deadly risks that pose little to no threat to children in Australia. 
 
Simple and cost effective interventions can save children’s lives in the Pacific. Please donate today. 

Your donation can help in the Pacific by:
 
  • vaccinating more children against preventable diseases
  • strengthening violence prevention
  • improving early childhood education programs
  • increasing children’s access to safe water and sanitation
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“I think all mothers – and fathers like me too
– want what’s best for their children. In that
respect, parents in the Pacific are no different
from parents anywhere else in the world.” 
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Batetoba will do anything to protect her daughter from rotavirus.
 

It’s a terrible thing to lose a child. The only thing more devastating is to have already lost two children to the same awful disease. Batetoba knows that agony. That’s why she will do anything to protect her daughter Tabaria.

Rotavirus is the most common and deadly form of severe diarrhoea and is among the leading killers of children under five. While rotavirus infects children in every country, more than 95% of rotavirus deaths occur in low-income countries where access to treatment is limited or unavailable. Children in the Pacific are seven times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than Australian children.

Repeated diarrhoea outbreaks have occurred over the past six years in Kiribati due to a combination of developmental, environmental and geographical challenges. Each October there is a significant increase in the number of diarrhoea cases reported at health clinics caused by a seasonal spike in diarrhoea cases.

Tabaria is just seven months old. Her mother, Batetoba, knows too well that her baby is vulnerable to the deadly rotavirus that spread throughout their community in Kiribati. That’s why she had Tabaria immunised against the disease when she was just six weeks old.

“I am so thankful to UNICEF and the Ministry of Health for providing the vaccine for Tabaria. I think the vaccine helped make her body strong, for she is an active baby and falls ill only when some strong illness comes around.”















 


© UNICEF/Kaaotaro/2017

Although Tabaria has been immunised, the family still face many struggles. They have no toilet so they use the local beach and lagoon. They have one water tap for the children to wash their hands before meals and all drinking water comes from a public tap, available for just one hour on alternate days of the week. The sheer number and isolation of Pacific islands, particularly in Kiribati, make access to health and sanitation facilities difficult.

Simple and cost effective interventions like the rotavirus immunisation and clean water will save children’s lives.

Your donation will go towards funding essential healthcare, vaccinations and clean water programs that will improve the lives of children in countries such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Fiji. No other children’s rights organisation has the reach or the credibility that UNICEF does with governments, communities and partners. Together, we can help reach as many children as possible.

You can give a child like Tabaria the chance every child deserves for the best start in life. Please give generously today. 
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