Baby Marta receiving her pneumococcal vaccine which will help to prevent some cases of pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. Photo: ©UNICEF Pacific/2018/Hoerder

Twenty three year old Nikiara is at Bikenibeu East West Ward Clinic in Tarawa, Kiribati, for her six week old baby Marta’s first clinic visit. As part of a routine child health clinic, baby Marta will be weighed, have her height measured, receive rotavirus and OPV drops followed by pneumococcal and pentavalent injections. A long morning for Nikiara and Marta who traveled for 15 minutes by bus to get to the clinic.

UN chief of Kiribati and UNICEF Chief of Field office, Cromwell Bacareza, is dancing with a student of Tauraoi Primary School, Matang, Nonouti, Kiribati. Playing and dancing is a coping mechanism the psychological social support team from South Tarawa applies to relieve the grief. The school has lost 2 students, a boy and a girl, together with their relatives in the incident. ©UNICEF Pacific/2018/Sins

Supporting students to recover after ferry disaster near island home

KIRIBATI, Nonouti — In the coral blue lagoon with the last rays of sunlight of the day, five children are swimming. They are yelling with excitement when they try their new techniques of floating and diving. But below the surface, there is also sadness and grief.

One of the children, she must be around eleven years old, just lost her mother. Another lost a cousin. And all of them lost friends. …

10 year old Castro from Vuigalato Village in Ambae chats with some of his friends at an early childhood space at an evacuation centre in Santo. UNICEF/2017/Olul

Vanuatu is ranked number one according to the World Risk Index making it the country with the highest likelihood of a disaster in the world. As a small Pacific island nation with a population of approximately 280,000 people, this puts almost 95,000 of Ni-Vanuatu people at risk from natural disasters every year[1]. The events of September 2017 will go down in Vanuatu’s history as being a month to remember, especially for the people of Ambae Island, in Penama Province.

For the first time in history, increasing volcanic activity from the Manaro Volcano on the island of Ambae was significant enough…

Alice washing her hands to demonstrate that the current water tap system only allows one child at a time to wash their hands, which most of the time discourages students to wash their hands. Photo: ©UNICEF Pacific/2017/Tahu

My name is Alice Hako. I’m 10 years old and currently in grade five at Marara Primary School. Every morning I help my mother prepare breakfast for my brothers and sisters and then begin my 30 minute walk to school. I like school because I make a lot of friends and my favorite subjects are Maths and Science. When I grow up I want to be a pilot because I admire the female pilots at Solomon Airlines. I want to be like them.

But in order for me to achieve my goal in life I must also keep myself healthy…

Naivicula Village 86-year-old village settlement home to over 400 villagers. Photo: ©UNICEF Pacific/2017/Chute

“Its time to rise and act now.”

For one and a half hours we travelled along the main Kings Road from Suva city until we reached a turn off into a dirt road, driving through dairy and vegetable farms. Amongst the rich greenery, cattle, goats and a few sheep were grazing as we made our way towards Naivicula settlement some 12km away from the main road in Wainibuka district, Central Eastern Fiji. I could only imagine the trauma of having these sources of income and food destroyed and taken away by Cyclone Winston.

As we slowly emerged through the half…

My teacher told me we were going to have a competition at school and if we win we will be at a district final then national. And the winner of the national level will go to Germany.

In Fiji I took part in the oratory contest and the topic was on climate change.

My schoolteacher told me about the competition, and that the winner would be going to Labasa. We did the competition at my school and lots of children entered.

I won my school competition and then I went to Labasa College to give my speech. From the first day when I took part at school I thought I would go to Germany.

Tamoaieta (7, right) and his brother Tetoa (10, left) standing on a seawall near their home in Tebikenikoora village, Eita, South Tarawa. Photo: ©UNICEFPacific/2016/Sokhin

The Pacific is an ocean cut in half by most maps, skirting their edges. Perhaps as a result it has all too often been only at the edge of minds, when it should be framing them. A view of the Earth centred on someone living upon one of the more than 25,000 islands of the Pacific reveals an ocean so large it occupies the entire face of the globe, its blue eclipsing all but a few hints of land. The Pacific Ocean makes up one third of the planet’s surface area and, covering more than 165 million square kilometres, is…

A Paediatric Standard Treatment Manual was launched by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) on 17 March 2017 in Solomon Islands, understandably with very little fanfare.

After all, the release of the fourth edition of the Manual was unlikely to incite excitement beyond circles in Solomon Islands that were involved in the development of the manual or have an interest in children’s medical issues.

But it ought to have because the Paediatric Standard Treatment Manual is no ordinary document; rather, the manual provides important guidelines on the treatment of diseases that commonly occur among children and newborns in…

Freda Ava’a comforts her baby Joy as she awaits vaccination at a catch-up drive.

Baby Joy’s bright, curious eyes dart around the room before focusing on a nurse, who pulls on a pair of white latex gloves. Joy is 17 weeks old and overdue for four different vaccinations as per Solomon Islands’ routine immunization schedule.

Unfortunately, Joy is not unique. Thousands of children in Solomon Islands are vaccinated later than the Government timescales and more than 25 per cent fail to receive the full complement of recommended vaccinations that are offered in the countries.

Several factors must be addressed to improve immunization coverage rates in Solomon Islands, explains Dr. Tenneth Dalipanda, permanent secretary for…

UNICEF Pacific

We work for children who live in 14 Pacific Island Countries. We strive for their survival, protection, development and participation.

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