Through close cooperation with United Nations, Cape Verde plans to vaccinate 62,000 children under five years old against Polio in a synchronized campaign that has two phases, in the West and Central Africa region.
This year, for the first time in Cape Verde and in the history of cooperation of the United Nations with the country, an organized and integrated campaign was planned that involves, besides Polio vaccination, other aspects such as an investigation of vaccination coverage, birth registration, data collecting about girls’ education as well as the sanitary situation of the families.
With participation of UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA, and through a joint and integrated action, this approach has demonstrated that an intervention was necessary for the promotion and achievement of children’s rights in a holistic manner; implementing actions that aim to ensure their survival and full development in a sustainable way.
In this way, through the implementation of the One Programme, the United Nations has reinforced their role and voice to influence programs and policies in favor of children and adolescents, optimizing the available resources from different agencies. For example, this integrated project showed that using the same team in the field is possible to: vaccinate, register, identify children out of the educational system, and understand the environment in which they live.
The success of the campaign will only be possible if the families, together with the State, assume their responsibilities with their children and understand that vaccination, registration, education, and other aspects related to welfare of children, are directly associated with the achievement of their rights as citizens. The families should have a commitment to their duties to assure a future for their children.
The UN resident Coordinator in Cape Verde, Mrs. Petra Lantz, talking in the name of UNICEF and WHO, highlighted that Cape Verde is showing again that it is on the vanguard of promoting and protecting children’s rights; listening to the needs of its population. She was convinced that all mothers and fathers would vaccinate their children because the vaccines represent a great protection against childhood diseases, especially during the fragile period from 0 to 5 years old, contributing enormously to the survival of this age group.
The objective of this integration is to optimize financial and human resources, promote the children’s registration, and as much as possible to pre-register on the spot and sensitize families and the population about children’s rights. As the campaign runs door to door, it is also planning to collect information about education, especially girls, and collect data related to the sanitary situation of the families, establishing an appropriate intervention for the prevention and treatment of dengue.
The campaign for birth registration will cover children from 0 to 13 years old, where adolescents with more than 13 years will be processed differently, following a special rule for registration. The national data indicates that between 38% to 40% of Cape Verdean children of the age up to 1 year old are not registered.
Regarding Polio, it is highlighted that for more than five years, Cape Verde does not have any registered case of the disease, nor any Polio related death. The country and other 18 countries from Central and West Africa joined in a Synchronized Vaccination Campaign to interrupt virus circulation from one country to another.
The campaign in Cape Verde is organized by Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Education with financial and technical support from UNICEF and WHO.
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