Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nepal Earthquake: 5 things you need to know

It has been a shattering couple of days for children in Nepal and nearly 3 million children are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance after the earthquake. We take a look at five things you need to know about the disaster:

1. Worst in more than three quarters of a century


© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1040/Nybo
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April is the country’s worst in more than 80 years. More than 60 aftershocks have since been recorded, one as high as 6.7, adding to the devastation.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Maternal malaria: what it means for Indonesian children

By Maria Endang Sumiwi, Health Specialist Malaria

Dr Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo* in the Mimika District Hospital in Papua. ©UNICEFIndonesia/2015

There has been much progress in the fight against malaria around Indonesia – the disease is gradually being eliminated district by district. But it still remains in many areas throughout the country. The Eastern Provinces continue to suffer disproportionately from the disease. In the worst-affected districts, one in three people will experience malaria each year.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria. They have an increased risk of infection and greater risk to suffer from severe malaria compared to non-pregnant women. What does this mean for Indonesian children? UNICEF asked a clinician that deals with malaria on a daily basis. Dr. Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo is a paediatrician who has worked in Papua for the last 15 years:

Q : How would you describe the malaria situation in your hospital – especially regarding malaria in pregnancy?

A : Each month, there are about 100 to 150 malaria-associated outpatient visits to the hospital and at least two malaria admissions per day. Malaria in pregnancy occurs in 10 to 15 percent of pregnant mothers who are admitted to the maternity ward. About 30  percent of infant hospital admissions are due to malaria. My youngest patient was a one-day-old baby suffering from falciparum malaria with anaemia, most likely a congenital infection.

Friday, April 24, 2015

“Smile” for immunisation

Nur Awwalia and her Immunisation Wall of Fame. © UNICEF Indonesia/2015

The walls of the Tanah Merah Bangkalan Health Centre on Madura Island in East Java have all the usual posters expected in a health clinic. But one stands out. It’s a plain white board lined with photos of 25 smiling babies.

Each baby has completed their five stages of immunisation – five free immunisation sessions which mean they are safe from diseases including diphtheria, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, tetanus, polio and measles.

A midwife at the centre, Nur Awwalia, recently came up with the idea for the poster. “Every parent likes to show off their baby. So why not use this to promote immunisation!” she says.