Children in Somalia to receive new vaccination against deadly diseases

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UNICEF has been going to great lengths to ensure children under five are vaccinated against measles, polio, diphtheria and whooping cough.

Nearly 500,000 children born in Somali every year are to benefit from a new vaccine which will protect them from five potentially fatal childhood diseases.

The new Pentavalent vaccine will protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae, which is a bacteria that causes meningitis and pneumonia, among other diseases.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says the on going conflict in Somalia has destroyed the health system resulting in the country having some of the worst health indicators in the world.

The agency says one out of every five Somali children die before their fifth birthday.

UNICEF's representative in Somalia Sikander Khan says the new vaccine will help break the cycle of unnecessary deaths amongst children in Somalia.

"I sincerely believe that we will make that difference and we will shift that paradigm that has been in existence in this country for children for the past 20 or so years."

UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI Alliance are providing more than 1.3 million doses of the vaccine to Somalia for 2013.

Each child will require three doses of the vaccine.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.12″

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