Cholera outbreaks in Yemen.
The Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Zika virus hitting mums and babies across Latin America.
We’ve seen the headlines, worried about the death tolls or even wondered if our own lives could be at risk.
Epidemics of infectious diseases are occurring more often and spreading faster and further than ever in many regions of the world.
But why do epidemics happen?
Three main conditions can collide to start an outbreak that spreads rapidly across entire regions. Communities affected by humanitarian emergencies like natural disasters or conflict are at particularly high risk. Here is why.
During natural disasters like floods or cyclones, children and families face many dangers including injuries, separation and death. But they are also at high risk of disease.
Rains and floods create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed and spread diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever.
Heavy rainfall can also contaminate water supplies, spreading cholera and diarrhoea. This is a serious danger right now in Bangladesh.
The arrival of the monsoon rains to the Rohingya refugee camps threatens over 500,000 children who are living there after escaping extreme violence in Myanmar.
Children are at risk of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera. They are preventable but without immunisation they can be deadly.
UNICEF believes no child should die of a preventable disease. We procure vaccines for 45% of the world’s youngest children every year. Our teams go to incredible lengths
to immunise children no matter where they are, from warzones in Syria to the Rohingya refugee camps.