With the second highest child mortality rates in world DRC faces major health challenges. A study conducted in 2004 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that pneumonia killed at least 132,000 children under five in the country, making it the second biggest cause of death amongst under five children in the country after malaria. Only 42% of children suspected to have pneumonia are taken to an appropriate healthcare provider.
“With electricity, roads, and refrigerators in short supply, delivering vaccines to remote health centers in DRC is an enormous challenge,” said Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF Representative in DR Congo. “Together with its partners UNICEF is committed to ensure that all children in this country have the same access to this life-saving vaccine”.
As the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF has been supporting vaccination efforts in DRC with supply, technical and financial support since 1963.
In the past five months, Nicaragua, Guyana, Yemen, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Mali introduced the pneumococcal vaccines thanks to the support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) which brings together governments, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other key players in global health.
Speaking of Yemen. Check out this video of Yemen’s rollout of the pneumococcal vaccine there.