The Country Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Sheldon Yett, has pledged the UN agency’s continued support to Liberia to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4.
MDG 4 is geared towards preventing two-thirds of childhood deaths through cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, oral rehydration therapy, improved family care and breast-feeding, among others, by 2015.
Making remarks at the launch of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PVC) on Thursday at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Yett said UNICEF will continue to support national capacity-building initiatives.
He said UNICEF will work to further expand and strengthen the cold chain system in the country.
“We are happy to see that the government is keeping its promise to give Liberian children a healthy start for the strong future,” the UNICEF official said.
According to him, pneumonia accounts for 14 percent of under-five deaths in Liberia, which is second only to malaria, the Liberia News Agency reports.
Yett said, therefore, the introduction of PVC in the routine immunization schedule reinforces the government’s commitment and efforts towards accelerating the reduction of child mortality rate in the country.
He said Liberia’s achievement in reducing child mortality is a result of the government’s partnerships and efforts to scale up integrated equitable health services.
He said the PCV launch is the best New Year gift the government can give its children, a gift, he said, that seeks to protect Liberian children from a disease that kills over 1.1 million children under five annually or over 3,000 daily.