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Top 10 Facts About UNICEF
UNICEF is an organization which assists children in over 190 countries. The organization focuses on saving the lives of children, defending children’s rights, and helping them fulfill their potential as individuals. Founded in December of 1946 in an effort by the United Nations to support children in post-war Europe and China, UNICEF has been active ever since.

Here are the top 10 facts about UNICEF and how their impact has been felt around the world.

Top 10 Facts About UNICEF

  1. UNICEF is an organization which helps children receive necessary vaccinations. The organization gathers vaccines for 40 percent of children globally. Annually, this amounts to roughly three billion doses of vaccines.
  2. Globally, UNICEF is the largest buyer of mosquito nets which can be used to protect children from harmful insect bites. Malaria is an example of a disease which can be preventable through the use of a mosquito net. In 2006, UNICEF purchased 25 million of these mosquito nets.
  3. In 2006, UNICEF procured 10 million-plus malaria treatments. ACT, which stands for pyronaridine- artesunate, is a form of therapy which has been shown to be just as effective as other drugs for treating Malaria. The WHO recommended that this type be used to treat P. falciparum malaria.
  4. UNICEF embraces a wide variety of social issues. Among these are the protection of children, girls education, HIV/AIDS, immunization, malaria, nutrition, South Sudan child soldiers, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).
  5. In April of 2005, UNICEF released a publication which documented the organization’s work between 1995-2005. Titled ‘A Pivotal Decade’ the publication covered the 10-year span during which UNICEF helped ensure that millions of children survive who could have been lost. The publication explores how UNICEF is well-equipped to handle its main goal; striving to give each and every child a better future.
  6. According to UNICEF, human trafficking has been reported in all 50 US states. The highest rates have been reported in CA, FL, NY, OH, and TX. These are the statistics reported by UNICEF in one of their fast facts publications.
  7. UNICEF’s overarching goal is to achieve worldwide equality. Especially in the lives of children afflicted by illness, hunger, or war, who cannot attend school and receive a proper education as a result. There are also instances where children are prohibited from attending school. Specifically in the lives of young girls, which UNICEF works hard to support.
  8. Vaccines for diseases such as polio and typhus cost one dollar or less per 1 (unsure of currency) per vaccination. Despite the price, many still cannot afford these vaccines which prevent dangerous, if not deadly, diseases. UNICEF gives out free vaccinations to one in three children worldwide.
  9. When first launching in 1946, UNICEF concentrated primarily on supplying food, clothes, and medicine to young children and mothers in post-war Europe, China, and Palestine. Beginning in the early ’50’s, UNICEF sought to create more long-term goals for developing countries. As a result of these efforts, UNICEF constructed health stations in third world countries and began starting projects to ensure children and adolescents attend school.
  10. UNICEF’s long-running history of seeking to make the world a better place has resulted in them putting vast amounts of money towards public health efforts. The organization reportedly sets aside 80 percent of its funds towards public health initiatives.

Since their launch 73 years ago, UNICEF has become one of the most well-known and renowned organizations dedicated to public health and the well-being of children. These top 10 facts about UNICEF are just a few of this organization’s incredible accomplishments. Striving to make the world a better place since December of 1946, UNICEF shows no sign of slowing down.

Jacob Nangle
Photo: Flickr

Benefits of Needle-Free VaccinesThere are many different methods of non-traditional vaccines or needle-free vaccines that are being produced and becoming more available every day. For example, these include dry powder vaccines or patches. Most notable are jet injectors. Jet injectors use a large amount of pressure and fluid to breach the skin in a very fast motion. These vaccines are effective for usage in countries with extreme poverty because traditional vaccines need to be refrigerated. They also require a way to keep needles sterile. These five benefits of needle-free vaccines detail on how to solve these problems and more.

Five Benefits of Needle-Free Vaccines

  1. Jet Injectors Have Been Around for a Long Time: Jet injector technology might sound new, but it’s not as new as one would think. These kinds of shots were administered back in World War II. In fact, they were actually used through the 1980s until it was discovered that they were spreading diseases. This was due to the fact that the technology hadn’t been developed enough. Until it could be, the jet injectors had to stop being used. Now they have made jet injectors to be single-use, so there is no risk of spreading diseases between patients.
  2. They Require Fewer Resources: Jet injectors have been the most popular method of needle-free vaccines as they tend to use far less of the actual vaccine. This is arguably one of the most important benefits of needle-free vaccines. Jet injectors use up to 60 percent less vaccine than traditional needle vaccines. This is particularly helpful when there are shortages. Because jet injectors use a significantly less amount of the vaccine, it is also a cheaper option. For instance, the cost is $3-4 per vaccine or even $900 for 500 vaccines.
  3. They Are Less Painful: Another problem with the traditional vaccine is that it can cause pain in patients. This can become especially difficult when patients need multiple shots. Furthermore, those who fear needles are less likely to get a vaccination. On the pain scale, a pain score of three is when a person indicates that they are in some pain. This is important to know because when 100,000 subjects were given the jet injection, they had a pain score of zero. This painless injection allows for an alternative to the needle as it can easily administer multiple shots without pain. Lower pain scores are one of the key benefits of needle-free vaccines, as they allow the device to reach the broadest swath of patients possible.
  4. Less Risk of Injury After Disposal or Use: Needlestick injuries are another key problem with traditional vaccines. Needlestick injuries are injuries that happen when a needle accidentally penetrates the skin. The people that are exposed to these injuries are people who work with and around needles. Additionally, this can also happen to people like garbage-men when needles are not disposed of properly. When this kind of injury happens, they can transmit: HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and AIDS. With the invention of jet injections, the risk of these injuries is reduced to nearly impossible as these injections need intense pressure to be administered.
  5. They Are More Efficient: The reason these jet injectors were being used in wars was that they are a faster and more efficient way of administering vaccines. Now that the technology has advanced over the last 70 years, these injections are less painful, more sanitary and now even faster. The injection lasts 1/10th of a second. It’s actually so fast that patients can barely feel it. This is helpful for those people in countries with extreme poverty as they are able to administer a lot of vaccines in a short amount of time.

With these benefits of needle-free vaccines, it’s clear this is the direction that the world should be headed in. They are cost-effective, sanitary, fast and nearly painless. As a result, access to vaccines could be provided to third-world countries at a more effective and reliable rate as they don’t need refrigeration and clean water.

– Ian Scott
Photo: Flickr

malawi's vaccinationA partnership between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Aspen Institute plans to strengthen the national leadership in Malawi, as well as Malawi’s vaccination program through the Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health). By combining their efforts, they will gain support for Gavi’s plan to ensure that every child living in Malawi will be protected with vaccines.

By 2020, the Immunization Alliance of partners plans to immunize 300 million children across the globe, in turn saving five to six million lives. AMP Health works with Ministries of Health to create better leaders and managers through skills training and will act as a foundation for guiding the progression of Malawi’s vaccination plan. Through AMP Health, the partners will help coordinate Malawi’s vaccination plan, as well as train staff and improve the performance of the immunization program.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has also been working on strengthening the health system in Malawi and improving the efficiency and strategies of the system. In turn, more people can be vaccinated to prevent certain diseases, something that everyone around the world should have access to.

The main reasons why children in developing countries die are because of sicknesses like pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition. This is because in developing countries they are not able to have routine immunization, due to its unaffordability. Immunizations are the key to preventing premature death in developing countries like Malawi.

Vaccinations protect children from illnesses that can often result in amputation or even death. Vaccinations are safe and effective. If a child is not vaccinated they can spread diseases to other children that may be too young to be vaccinated, or have weakened immune systems. People who are more susceptible to contracting diseases could have serious complications or even death. The plan to vaccinate those living in Malawi is crucial to the health and well being of those living in and around the country.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr