September 30, 2023

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UNICEF helps improve healthcare services for vulnerable families

TEHRAN – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has procured a set of new diagnostic lab equipment to enhance healthcare services for vulnerable children and families in a number of provinces across Iran.

The advanced technological equipment and standard laboratory tools procured upon the request of the Ministry of Health will improve the precision and quality of diagnostic and treatment health services offered to children and their families, particularly for respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

The equipment was provided to the Ministry of Health reference labs in six selected provinces with a high number of vulnerable populations, namely Sistan-Baluchestan, Kordestan, Yazd, South Khorasan, Hormozgan, and Tehran, the UNICEF website announced in a press release on August 14.

Respiratory and gastrointestinal infections pose significant threats to children resulting in elevated rates of mortality, a situation exacerbated among refugee children with compromised health conditions, the report added.

By facilitating swift disease diagnosis and timely intervention, this initiative aims to curtail these outcomes and simultaneously curb the inappropriate or excessive use of antibiotics.

Drawing from the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of Afghan refugees, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health and Medical Education to fortify the diagnosis network, prioritizing areas at heightened risk, particularly those along the borders.

Supporting development projects

UNICEF has recently supported the implementation of development projects for less advantaged students in the country.

The construction of new classrooms and new water distribution networks in vulnerable areas were among the projects that were carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy.

To this end, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) and Relief International, UNICEF supported the construction and equipment of ten classrooms across five schools with high numbers of refugee students in Khorasan Razavi and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces.

Moreover, in an effort to ensure access to safe water for children and their families in South Khorasan Province, UNICEF has supported the construction of a new water distribution network in four villages in the Kalate Shab region.

Collaborating with the Ministry of Energy and Water and Wastewater Company, this initiative will benefit 548 people living in these villages.

Similar endeavors have been supported by UNICEF in Iran in recent months, including the rehabilitation and construction of WASH facilities in the Torbateh Jam refugee settlement, water supply network rehabilitation in Moshkont village in Sistan-Baluchestan province, execution of the main water feeder line in Niatak refugee settlement, and the establishment of water distribution networks in Golestan province.

In May, Robin Nandy, the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Iran, said the country’s comprehensive program for the protection of refugee children is encouraging.

Making investments in programs and services to better care for and support children affected by migration and asylum will reduce costs in the future, he added.

Emphasizing the important role of non-governmental organizations in supporting refugee and immigrant children and teenagers, Nandy expressed hope that holding educational workshops will lead to the promotion of children’s rights and justice for children.


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