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Making A Difference For Children - 2010 Funding Guide

The presence of any untreated sexually transmitted infection (STI) magnifies the risk of HIV transmission through unprotected sex. Although the incidence of STIs in Turkey is at a reasonable level and prevalence of HIV/AIDS is low, rates of prevalence for both are higher in Eastern Europe which has the fastest–growing HIV epidemic in the world. Central Asia also has a high incidence of the HIV/AIDS virus and Turkey’s position between these two regions means that the risk of an increase in the incidence of both STIs and HIV/AIDS is high.

Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Polio and Measles are all vaccine–preventable diseases which can easily kill or disable children. Although Turkey was declared polio–free in 2002, 30 per cent of Turkish children are not fully vaccinated. There is no question that vaccination programmes need to be intensified across the entire country.

Although a number of positive improvements to the education system in Turkey have had the effect of increasing primary school enrolments dramatically, they have at the same time placed considerable strain on the system as the infrastructure and numbers of teaching staff fail to keep pace with the increased number of students. Prior to the jump in enrolments, many schools already lacked basic amenities conducive to the learning process.

Rates of infant mortality are 4.6 times higher amongst infants who are not breastfed. The World Health Organisation asserts that 1.5 million infant mortalities would be avoided globally every year through exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months. Tens of thousands of infant lives could be saved every year in Turkey where the average for babies who are exclusively breastfed during the first six months is 1.3 per cent — a fraction of the global average of 39 per cent.

However, exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is not just a matter of survival — it is also the best way to ensure a child’s healthy growth and development since breastmilk is unquestionably the finest, freshest and cleanest source of nutrition for an infant. UNICEF is seeking to educate both new mothers and health workers about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding so that ‘the best start in life’ becomes the norm for Turkish infants.


The Turkish National Committee for UNICEF

Bilkent University

06800 Bilkent ANKARA

Telephone +90 (0)312 290 33 90

+90 (0)312 290 33 91

Facsimile +90 (0)312 290 33 88

Email unicef.natcom@unicefturk.org

Website www.unicefturk.org

E–shop shop.tr.net.tr/unicef

The Turkish National Committee for UNICEF

‹stanbul Office

Yeni Çarfl› Caddesi No 54/1

80050 Galatasaray ‹STANBUL

Telephone +90 (0)212 252 52 22

Facsimile +90 (0)212 252 97 27

Email unicef.ist@superonline.com

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