From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Mar 28 2009 - 08:54:58 EST
State of Africa's Children Report is launched in Eritrea
C UNICEF/2008/Leshomo UNICEF Representative in Eritrea Eva Johansson
holds the State of Africa's Children Report. The report shows Eritrea is
on track to achieving MDG 4.
By Kutloano Leshomo
ASMARA, Eritrea, 16 December 2008 - UNICEF Eritrea and the Ministry of
Health launched the 2008 State of Africa's Children Report last month in
the Eritrean capital of Asmara. The regional publication shows that
Eritrea is one of 16 countries in the world currently on track to
achieve MDG 4 - reducing child mortality.
The Deputy Regional Director for ESARO, Dorothy Rozga, commended the
Government of the State of Eritrea for the progress it has made
regarding child survival. She noted that Eritrea's under-five mortality
declined by roughly 50 per cent.
"Eritrea has provided an example that if concerted efforts are made, a
lot can be achieved for children," she said.
UNICEF Representative Eva Johansson pledged UNICEF's support to help the
government sustain the progress it is making towards achieving the MDGs.
"You are a living example that a country with leadership for children is
a country devoted to achieving important national and international
milestones for children," she said.
'Children should not pay the price'
Since gaining independence in 1991, Eritrea has made a concerted effort
to improve its healthcare system. In his keynote speech at the launch,
the Minister of Health, Mr. Saleh Meki, outlined the interventions that
have been put in place.
C UNICEF/2008/Leshomo ESARO Deputy Regional Director Dorothy Rozga with
Eritrea's Minister of Health, Saleh Meki.
High immunization coverage has led to a decrease in vaccine-preventable
diseases. Since 2006, over 90 per cent of children have received Vitamin
A supplementation. Eritrea is polio free and there have been no measles
deaths in the past two years. Maternal and neonatal tetanus has been
eliminated. There have also been sharp reductions in malaria morbidity
and mortality due to increases in the use of insecticide treated nets
and community mobilisation efforts.
"Children should not pay the price for lack of good healthcare. We have
worked very hard in the past years and therefore hope to achieve
progress in reducing child mortality," concluded Mr. Meki.
Despite this progress, some challenges remain for Eritrea. Neonatal
mortality accounts for 50 per cent of infant deaths and 26 per cent of
under-five mortality. There are already efforts to include the neonatal
component into the existing Community Integrated Management of Childhood
Illnesses, as well as in the safe motherhood and reproductive health
The Minister called for further efforts to collect data and to take
action to address the challenges of improving child and maternal health.
UNICEF is committed to working with the government to turn such
challenges into opportunities to secure a brighter future for Eritrean
----[This List to be used for Eritrea Related News Only]----