UNICEF Global     TR

Syria Emergency Response: Health and Nutrition



Seventy-four per-cent of Syrian children living in the camps are vaccinated against polio, however outside of camps rates are significantly lower with approximately 57% of male and 52% of female children out of the camps vaccinated.  For measles, 74% of male children and 70% of female children in camps are vaccinated, and as above these rates are significantly lower outside of camps.  Approximately 60% of male and 58% of female children out of camps are vaccinated against measles.  This poses a serious health threat for children among the host population, as polio and measles are highly contagious viral infections.  

The inter-agency health mission found that detailed data on malnutrition/nutritional deficiencies was not yet being collected systematically; however, clinical micronutrient deficiencies and anemia have been observed among children and pregnant and lactating women in the camps. The extent to which acute and/or chronic malnutrition (stunting) is a significant public health issue has up until now been difficult to assess, but will be important to set a baseline now in order to conduct future monitoring.   

Key Activities – 2013 and 2014

  • Support national immunization programme through provision of measles-containing and polio vaccines, vitamin A, syringes, safety boxes and cold chain equipment to MoH.
  • Work with health authorities and other UN agencies to enhance communication and information campaigns (i.e. breastfeeding, immunisations, nutrition, hygiene) as necessary enhance mother and child health and nutrition services through the training of local health providers and support to affected populations.
  • Support a nutrition survey to conduct detection of malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months living in host communities, in coordination with the MoH and other UN agencies.
  • Provide multi-micronutrients for children aged 6-59 months, and for pregnant and lactating women (up to 6 months of lactation) (as required).

Key Achievements – 2013 and 2014

  • UNICEF provided 3,000,000 doses of OPV to the Ministry of Health for three rounds of polio vaccinations targeting Syrian and Turkish children under the age of 5 in the 11 provinces in the south-east of Turkey (Kilis, Hatay, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Sirnak, Adana, Kahramanmaras, Adiyaman, Osmaniye, Malatya), as well as outreach and communication materials in Turkish and Arabic for the campaign.
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org