UNICEF opens first 227 mother-and-child health centres in Tsunami-hit Indonesia
Health Financing/Insurance

UNICEF opens first 227 mother-and-child health centres in Tsunami-hit Indonesia

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has completed construction of the first of the 227 mother-and-child health centres it is building in Indonesia’s tsunami-devastated Aceh province and earthquake-hit Nias Island. As per the UNICEF, through these mother-and-child health centres, mothers, children and babies will have immediate and full-time access to professional midwives, specialized infant health care and learning and development activities. It is believed that strengthening community-based health systems will have a long-lasting impact on child survival and development and will help facilitate Aceh and Nias’ recovery, rehabilitation and development. One can recall that Indonesia was the worst-hit of the dozen Indian Ocean nations that were struck by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami on 26 December 2004, accounting for some two thirds of the death toll of more than 200,000, with over half a million others left homeless. These centers will provide essential services, such as antenatal and neonatal care, breastfeeding support, growth monitoring, regular immunization, parental education, micronutrient provision, basic health information and behavioural change promotion. UNICEF has set aside $11 million for the construction of the centres, in addition to $90 million for the construction of more than 300 permanent schools, the first time UNICEF has taken on a construction role.

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