Kolonia, POHNPEI 19 May 2015 – The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) donated child vitamin supplements, oral rehydration solution and a water quality testing kit to the Chuuk Department of Health for assisting children affected by Typhoon Maysak. Dr. Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative was in Weno, Chuuk to meet with Government officials, World Health Organisation consultants, International Organisation for Migration and Red Cross staff who are working hard to assist people, including the distribution of UNICEF’s supplies.
The state of the art, portable water quality testing kit has everything needed (including a rechargeable battery) to conduct three kinds of tests to know whether water is safe to drink. It was handed over officially to the Department of Health, who directed that it be assigned to the laboratory technician at Environmental Protection Agency in Chuuk.
Dr. Allen said, “I was particularly impressed by the commitment, even after so many weeks, of the Government staff to continue reaching out with services and supplies to affected people. The assessment data are showing that there are still critical needs for support to schools and health care, in terms of clean water, sanitation, learning supplies, essential medicines, and vaccinations. I am also concerned about micronutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin A and iron, in children and pregnant women. In the coming months, undernutrition in young children may become a problem as this is common after many emergencies, when children do not get the balanced diet they need.”
Dr. Allen also made a joint visit to Pohnpei, with Mr Sune Gudnitz of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to meet with FSM Government officials and other organisations involved in emergency preparedness and response such as WHO, UNFPA, USAID, IOM, SPC and Red Cross. They also met with the US Ambassador and the Ambassador of Japan. Mr Gudnitz was in Pohnpei to discuss how to improve interagency coordination and increase UN involvement to better serve the people of Micronesia, who are often affected by natural disasters.
Documents confirming the donation and arrival of fourteen (14) ice-lined refrigerators, which are due to arrive by ship on , were handed to the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs. These refrigerators are for the rural health clinics to keep vaccines at the required temperatures.
About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicefpacific.org
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