Recently, UNICEF said that since 2017, a spike in conflict and displacement in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is pushing children into the worst cholera crisis.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Cholera
- Key Facts about UNICEF
- Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
- It is a global health threat and serves as an indicator of inadequate social development and public health measures.
- Cholera is characterized by its extreme virulence and can lead to severe acute watery diarrhea.
- Other symptoms include profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps.
- The disease can spread rapidly, particularly in areas with insufficient sewage and inadequate drinking water treatment.
- Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene contribute to the rapid transmission of cholera.
- In efforts to control and prevent cholera, three oral cholera vaccines (OCV) have been pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO): Dukoral, Shanchol, and Euvichol-Plus.
- These vaccines require a two-dose regimen to provide full protection.
Impact and Importance:
- Cholera outbreaks can have devastating effects on communities, leading to illness and even death.
- The disease’s prevalence can reflect societal disparities and the lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare.
Prevention and Control:
- Preventing cholera requires a multi-pronged approach that includes improving water and sanitation infrastructure, promoting hygiene practices, and providing access to vaccines in high-risk areas.
- Cholera remains a global health concern, emphasizing the need for continued efforts in disease surveillance, early detection, and rapid response to outbreaks.
Key Facts about UNICEF
- UNICEF stands for the United Nations Children’s Fund.
- Mission: UNICEF is a specialized agency of the United Nations focused on providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
- Establishment: It was established in 1946, shortly after World War II, with the goal of addressing the needs of children affected by the war.
- Headquarters: The organization’s headquarters is located in New York City, United States.
- Global Reach: UNICEF operates in over 190 countries and territories across the world, making it one of the largest and most widespread international organizations.
- UNICEF is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their background or location, has access to fundamental rights and services.
- It works to provide basic healthcare, quality education, proper nutrition, clean water, sanitation, protection from violence, and safeguarding against exploitation.
- UNICEF is a prominent advocate for children’s rights and protection, working to prevent child labor, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.
- In times of crisis, UNICEF plays a crucial role in providing immediate relief and support to children and families affected by disasters, conflicts, and emergencies.
- UNICEF collaborates with governments, non-governmental organizations, other United Nations agencies, and various partners to implement programs and initiatives that benefit children and mothers.
Achievements and Challenges:
- Over the years, UNICEF’s efforts have contributed to significant improvements in child health, education, and overall well-being.
- Despite these achievements, there are ongoing challenges, such as persistent poverty, unequal access to resources, and new emerging threats to children’s well-being.
Advocacy and Awareness:
- UNICEF plays a critical role in raising awareness about child rights issues, mobilizing public support, and advocating for policies that benefit children.
Nobel Peace Prize:
- UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 for its dedicated work to promote the well-being and rights of children worldwide.
- UNICEF’s commitment to improving the lives of children and mothers reflects the broader United Nations goal of achieving sustainable development and ensuring a better future for all.
-Source: The Hindu