世界瘧疾日

 

世界瘧疾日

國際消息 00:02

聯合國兒童基金會於「世界瘧疾日」(25/4)呼籲全球推行瘧疾防預工作

全球每年有達850,000人死於蚊叮,當中近九成來自非洲撤哈拉周邊地區,亦是當地致命率最高的一個原因。保守估計,在撤哈拉一帶每30秒就有一名兒童死於瘧疾,當中大部分死者均少於5歲。

瘧疾是一種可致命的嚴重疾病,主要透過瘧蚊傳染,是兒童的大敵。由於兒童的免疫力較弱,一旦被瘧蚊叮中,體內的免疫力並不足以抵抗瘧疾,病菌便會迅速擴散,導致昏迷,甚至死亡。據此,聯合國兒童基金會呼籲全球一同打擊瘧疾,全面推行瘧疾防預工作,拯救數以萬計的生命。

A baby boy sleeps at home under protective netting, to reduce his exposure to malaria, in the village of Essaout in the south-western Ziguinchor Region. A girl sits nearby. Malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes, causes nearly 30 per cent of all child deaths in Senegal. UNICEF supports the distribution insecticide-treated mosquito nets, as well as preventative treatment and care in communities and at health facilities. In June 2007 in Senegal, young people comprise nearly half of the more than 12 million inhabitants but persistent poverty and chronic food insecurity continue to threaten children's welfare and growth. Easily preventable diseases are responsible for a large number of child deaths, and health and nutrition programmes are hampered by a lack of funds and trained personnel. Still, Senegal is making progress in the areas of nutrition, safe water access and education, devoting 50 per cent of its national budget to education and health services. Overall primary school enrolment has increased from 71.6 per cent of eligible children in 2001/2002 to 82.2 per cent in 2004/2005. And the gap between boys and girls attending school has narrowed from 11 to 4 per cent, though regional disparities persist - with the gap as high as 20 per cent in some areas. To help sustain progress in education, UNICEF works with the Government and diverse national and international partners to support an integrated package of health and child protection interventions for education, as well as for early childhood development. Initiatives include: teacher-training on child-centred methods, life-skills and HIV/AIDS education; peer education and vocational and life-skills training for adolescents; installation of safe water and sanitation facilities in schools, including separate latrines for girls and boys; health and nutrition programmes; curriculum development in Koranic schools; and non-formal education projects for vulnerable children. UNICEF also supports other health, nutrition and protection programmes, including to end female genital mutilation/cutting and to promote mine-risk education in the conflict-affected, south-western Casamance area (consisting of Ziguinchor and Kolda Regions). On 2 March, women and their children rest on beds in a UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding centre in the eastern town of Goz Beïda, Ouaddaï Region. Mosquito nets hang behind them. One woman (right) and her child are refugees from Sudans Darfur Region. From 28 February to 6 March 2010, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited Chad to raise awareness of the importance of immunizing children against polio. Her visit coincided with the 6 March launch of a national immunization campaign aimed at 2.2 million children under five. It is one of 16 synchronized polio vaccination campaigns that were being launched throughout West Africa on that date. Polio cases in Chad are of particularly concern because the country has been a major conduit for the diseases spread to other countries. Between 2004 and 2006, an outbreak spread from Chad to Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Indonesia. This strain of poliovirus originated from Nigeria, one of four countries in the world where the disease is still endemic. A 2007 outbreak, also originating in Nigeria, continues to infect Chadian children, in large part because of poor immunization coverage. Most cases in Chad have occurred in NDjamena, the capital, where more than half of all children are routinely missed in vaccination campaigns. Ms. Farrow met with government officials, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, and local leaders, and visited polio vaccination teams to support the campaign. She also visited a displacement camp in the eastern town of Goz Beïda and a therapeutic feeding centre in the western city of Mao, and attended the campaigns launch ceremony in NDjamena. The synchronized campaigns are supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which is spearheaded by WHO, Rotary International, the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF. The initiative is also supported by diverse governments, the European Commission, NGOs and other partners.

對抗瘧疾好處多:

  •            減少瘧疾感染率,有助減低各地健康院需求緊張的壓力;
  •            瘧疾是導致愛滋病患者死亡的一大主因,成功控制瘧疾散播,變相可減少愛滋病患者的死亡率;
  •            營養不良的兒童減染瘧疾,致命的風險較一般兒童更高。因此有效控制瘧疾傳染,可同時減少兒童營養不良的死亡率;
  •            預防瘧疾,更有助提升孕婦及嬰兒的健康。

聯合國兒童基金香港委員會會呼籲全球各界,一同對抗瘧疾,全面推行瘧疾防預工作,拯救數以萬計的生命。參與聯合國兒童基金會「兒童之友」月捐計畫,每月捐出港幣$100,足夠為正受瘧疾威脅的人士購置兩個蚊帳,有效控制瘧疾傳播。