UNICEF Supports National Immunization Campaign and National Children’s Day
DILI, Timor-Leste, 31 May 2009. “With the celebration of National Children’s Day,
Let us improve and strengthen the rights of the child through immunization and nutrient supplementation.” This is the theme of this year’s June 1 National Children’s Day. The national celebration will take place on 1st June 2009 with running exercise at 7:30 a.m. followed by the ceremonial launch of the National Immunization Campaign by Prime Minister José Luís Guterres at 9:25 a.m. at the GMT, Dili.
“UNICEF is very pleased to be part of this national campaign. UNICEF supports programmes that will help achieve the fastest improvements on the lives of Timorese children”, UNICEF Representative Mr. Jun Kukita said.
Mr. Kukita said that the celebration is a reflection of Timor-Leste’s commitment to uphold child rights, this time by concretely giving protective services for children through the provision of:
• tetanus toxoid vaccination for girls and women 12-45 years old
• iron foliate supplementation for all girls 12-18 years old
• Vitamin A supplementation for all children from 6 months to 5 years old and
• measles vaccination for all children from 9 months to 5 years old.
The first phase of the national immunization campaign which is led by the Ministry of Health with the support of the UNICEF, WHO and other organizations starts on 1 to 10 June 2009 for Districts of Dili, Aileu, Ermera, Manatuto, Manufahi and Oecusse. The second phase of the immunization and supplementation will start on 15 to 24 June 2009 for Districts of Baucau, Bobonaro, Covalima, Ainaro, Lautem, Liquiça and Viqueque.
The Ministry of Education leads this year’s celebration and has convened several government agencies such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health; and non-government agencies in organizing the launching of the National Children’s Day in conjunction with the National Immunization Campaign.
Timor-Leste ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in December 2002, just 7 months after the restoration of independence. Article 24 of the Convention affirms that the state shall strive to diminish infant and child mortality and to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to health services.