War is the perfect environment for disease to spread. With many hospitals and clinics in Yemen bombed or abandoned, it’s estimated one child dies every ten minutes from a preventable disease.
UNICEF and our partners are responding at a massive scale. Nationwide door-to-door campaigns this year will vaccinate up to 5 million children against polio. Mobile health teams are reaching children wherever they are, including in places where other health services have been cut off by the fighting.
Each vaccinator has incredible resolve in crossing battle lines, mountains and valleys to vaccinate children. More children die from preventable diseases in Yemen than in the violence, so we simply can’t afford to stop.
UNICEF’s vaccines had to cross rough terrain for a measles, rubella and polio vaccination campaign in the Gorkha District of Nepal after the 2015 earthquakes. © UNICEF/UNI199133/UNI199145/Panday
Diseases can also spread with deadly speed in the aftermath of a natural disaster, when children struggle to find safe drinking water, toilets and soap.
After the Nepal earthquakes in 2015, UNICEF supported a nationwide immunisation campaign to protect 3.6 million children from the risk of a polio outbreak. That meant trekking through mountainous terrain to reach the children hardest hit at the epicentre of the quake.