Mothers, fathers and carers are flocking to clinics in the Pacific for life-saving vaccines for their children.
One such young mum, is Aimata. She comes from a large family that knows the best way to protect her son, and the community, is to get vaccinated. At the vaccine clinic in Rarotonga with her son, she told us she wants little Tukeitaua to “have the best protection.”
Giving every child a future
Over the next three years, UNICEF, with support from Rotary, is aiming to deliver 300,000 vaccine doses to children across the Pacific, and that is just the beginning.
Working with local governments, UNICEF will ensure that immunisation programs are sustainably developed across nine Pacific countries, so that the future generations have access to these life-saving vaccines.
"I got my son vaccinated because I wanted him to have the best protection."
These vaccines will protect children against rotavirus disease and pneumococcal virus, two of the major causes of death for children under five in the Pacific. The region also has a high rate of cervical cancer.
Three times more women die from cervical cancer in the Pacific than in Australia. Through this program, the addition of the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls will be critical to widespread prevention.
Munokoa, a grandmother from the Cook Islands, heard about the immunisation program on a public health program on the local radio. She believes that “Prevention is better than cure” and has been encouraging families to access the program so that they can be confident that they are protected from preventable illnesses.
"It's always been my belief that prevention is better than cure."
No child left behind
Immunisation programs in some of the poorest countries often fail to reach those in the hardest to reach locations. If you combine that with poor health systems, limited resources and environmental challenges, it means that children are missing out on life-saving vaccines.
The Pacific region is geographically remote and has hundreds of islands spread across a large area. UNICEF and Rotary’s ‘Give Every Child a Future’ project will deliver more than 300,000 vaccine doses to children on more than 330 islands. A truly inspiring feat!
UNICEF Australia and Rotary partner to protect children in the Pacific
Simplified training for local health care workers
To be able to continue this immunisation program into the future we need to ensure the local teams that are delivering the program are trained to not only give the vaccines but to also help to educate the parents, grandparents and families of the children who will be receiving the vaccines.
Ake is just one of the health care workers in the Cook Islands receiving training through the project.
“Through the new training, I now understand how to simplify [the process] for our parents. With these simple explanations, they now understand and allow their children to have the vaccines.”
Every child deserves the best protection. Our health care workers will be trained to educate parents and carers about the ongoing need for vaccines as their children grow up, reminding them about their boosters and offer a plan for care.
Thanks to donors and partners like Rotary Zone 8, UNICEF can reach vulnerable children with health care, protection, clean water and education, no matter who they are or where they live.
Where the Need is Greatest
Help UNICEF to be there for children wherever the need is greatest, no matter what.
Stay up-to-date on UNICEF's work in Australia and around the world
15 Mar 2023
What would it take to make Australia an even greater place to be a child? 3 things you need to know.
What would it take to make Australia the best place to grow up? That’s a question UNICEF Australia and ARACY (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth) are working to understand. We share a common goal: for all children and young people in Australia to have every opportunity to thrive.
15 Mar 2023
“I know this decision is one I'll never regret.”
The world is chaos and we have no idea what's going to happen but one thing I'm absolutely certain about is that children will need help and that UNICEF will be there for them.
14 Mar 2023
Twelve faces of Syria: children who have known nothing but war
It has been 12 years since the onset of the war in Syria. These 12 children have known nothing but conflict, yet still, they hold hope for a better tomorrow.
13 Mar 2023
Cooking for change: locals bringing hope to the people of Ukraine
Everyday Australians are participating in #CookForUkraine to raise much needed funds to support children and their families impacted by the war.
7 Mar 2023
Children at risk after a double climate disaster in Vanuatu
Two tropical cyclones, Judy and Kevin, and an earthquake destroyed children’s homes and schools in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu.
24 Feb 2023
In photos: 365 days of strength and courage
It's been over 365 days since war broke out in Ukraine. See how children, communities and humanitarian workers have come together with strength and courage to rebuild lives.
21 Feb 2023
Far from home: Ukraine to Australia
As we mark one year since the war in Ukraine begun, we hear the stories of those who left their whole lives behind to find refuge in Australia. These Ukrainians look back on a tumultuous year of heartache and new beginnings.
14 Feb 2023
Ukraine: one year on
24 February 2023 marks one year of the war. An anniversary no one wanted to reach. But it’s also been 365 days of strength, courage and love.
6 Feb 2023
Heartbreak at the Syria-Türkiye border earthquake
People gather around collapsed buildings as rescue teams look for survivors following an earthquake in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
22 Jan 2023
Something to smile about
Smiling is contagious. These happy children and young people from around the world are sure to put a smile on your face. Find out what has been making children smile this past year.