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Located in Niger's Diffa region, the N'Guigmi airport has become a refuge for a massive influx of people coming from Lake Chad Islands, an area suffering from recurrent insecurity and conflict.
One such refugee is Haoua who first fled Nigeria with her six children in 2014 to seek safety in Niger. Haoua walked for three days to reach the N'Guigmi airport, where she temporarily settled with her family.
UNICEF and its partners are on the ground in Diffa, where medical teams are on site to conduct a vaccination campaign to protect children against measles, a disease with a devastating effect on the youngest children.
"Vaccination is very important," says Haoua, who rushed to have her children vaccinated as soon as they arrived to N'Guigmi airport.
"This disease scares us, as I have already lost three children to it."
UHN collaborates with UNICEF this flu season
Every flu vaccine received at UHN this year gives one more opportunity to UNICEF to help children like those in Maine Soroa and N’Guigmi access essential vaccines and clean water.
For every flu vaccine received by a UHN staff member, we are donating one essential vaccine to a child in need. In addition, for every 50 UHN staff members who are vaccinated against the flu, UHN will donate a five-month supply of clean water – in the form of 73 water purification tablets – to a child in need.
UHN’s Flu Campaign ends on Friday, Nov. 13. Don’t forget to get your flu shot to help protect yourself, our patients, those around you, and children around the world.
150,000 vaccinated children and counting
Organized by the Regional Health Directorate with support from UNICEF, the measles vaccination campaign has reached more than 150,000 children aged 9 months to 14 years.
"We brought in three teams to share the work load," explains Dr. Djibrilla Hama, lead physician of N'Guigmi district.
Health workers have so far reached more than 93 per cent of targeted children. Children from the districts of Maine Soroa and N'Guigmi as well as newly-arrived children have all been covered.
"You must actively look for people who require immunization"
"The difficulty lies in the mobility of the population," says Dr. Hama.
"We cannot control the population when we don't have a fixed site. You have people mixing with the regular N'Guigmi population and you have people settling here under the trees everywhere. This means you must actively look for people who require immunization."
UNICEF's work around the world
As part of the United Nations, UNICEF is active in over 190 countries. UNICEF provides children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
This story was provided by UNICEF. To find out more about the initiatives UNICEF is working on, visit their website.