"Nepal\'s youngest children will need all the help they can get," UNICEF Representative, Dr Suomi Sakai, said today, while referring to the launching of nationwide distribution of Vitamin A capsules and deworming tablets on Wednesday.
Around 3.3 million Vitamin A capsules will be distributed to all children aged from six months to five years and the 3.1 million deworming tablets for children aged from one to five years.
This distribution, which saves some 12,000 lives a year, is the largest exercise of child survival in Nepal.
"The violence in the last few days has been very frightening for many children and their families," explained Sakai. She added that the parents would be naturally concerned about the possibility of exposing their youngest children to risk by taking them outside the house.
Half of the children in Nepal are already malnourished and many do not have a sufficient store of Vitamin A in their bodies to boost their immune system to ward off disease and help prevent blindness. Children who don\'t receive the Vitamin A capsules have a four-times-higher risk of dying than those who do receive it.
For the sake of these youngest and most vulnerable children, we ask all adults to help make sure their families can get them to the distribution point in their ward - and back - safely and without fear," added the UNICEF representative.