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.
With no end in sight to the conflict, UNICEF and our partners are responding on a massive scale. Last year, we conducted a nationwide campaign to combat measles and rubella, also reaching children in remote areas.
More than 13 million children were reached with the support of 40,000 health workers and vaccinators. In recent months, more than 1.3 million children in Yemen were vaccinated against polio, protecting them against the life-threatening disease.
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 some of the most difficult-to-reach parts of PNG after the 2018 earthquake. © UNICEF/UN0292490/UN0292492/Holt
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 a massive earthquake in Papua New Guinea in 2018, UNICEF supported a nationwide vaccination campaign to protect children from measles, rubella, and polio. That meant trekking through mountainous, jungle terrain to reach the children hardest hit at the epicentre of the quake.
Almost 1.3 million children under five were vaccinated against polio, while 1.2 million children were immunised against measles and rubella.