November 28, 2017
On November 27, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kabul to provide grant aid of up to 978 million yen for the Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention for Children.
The project will procure vaccines needed for routine immunization against various diseases and polio vaccination campaigns planned in Afghanistan in 2018, and support awareness raising activities, contributing to the prevention of communicable diseases throughout the country.
Afghanistan has some of the highest neonatal, infant and maternal death rates of any country in the world. Diseases that can be prevented by vaccination still exist for various reasons, including unsafe conditions, poor access to health care facilities, and a lack of information about vaccination. Therefore, the international community, including Japan and UNICEF are supporting the procurement of vaccines, building the capacity of medical workers, and raising awareness in communities so that the routine immunization program of the Government of Afghanistan is implemented smoothly and in a timely manner.
Of particular concern is that Afghanistan is one of only three polio endemic countries* in the world. Polio primarily infects infants and it may leave lifelong paralysis in the limbs or other areas. Because the disease can be prevented with vaccination, polio campaigns and routine immunization are usually carried out in those endemic countries to achieve early eradication of polio.
The project will assist in procuring vaccines for routine immunization, including polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B for 1.37 million infants under the age of one, and tetanus for 2.5 million women of childbearing age throughout Afghanistan, which is expected to reduce the risk of infection. In addition, 10.03 million children under five in the country will receive the polio vaccination with vaccines supported by the project, contributing to taking steps toward polio eradication.
* Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan as of November 28, 2017.
|Country||Islamic Republic of Afghanistan|
|Project title||The Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention for Children|
|Planned implementation period||12 months|
|Executing agency||Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan, UNICEF|
|Target region, facilities||Throughout Afghanistan|
|Specific project details (provisional)||Procurement of vaccines against polio, tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis B and tetanus, awareness raising of vaccination|