On 13 February, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow cradles an acutely malnourished baby girl at a UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding centre in the western city of Mao, capital of Kanem Region. More than 100,000 Chadian children under age five suffer from malnutrition. Ms. Farrows T-shirt bears the UNICEF logo.
From 12 to 22 February 2012, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow travelled to Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to promote expanded polio eradication efforts and to review other UNICEF-supported programmes. Ms. Farrow met with children affected by polio; with religious leaders to help raise critical support for increased immunization coverage; and with partner representatives from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative a public-private partnership led by governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF. Her visits follow an important milestone towards eradicating the highly infectious disease: In January, India one of just four polio-endemic countries remaining in the world for the first time reported a full year with no new polio cases. (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the other three endemic countries.) Ms. Farrow also visited vaccination and other project sites; and with children and families affected by ongoing conflict; community, traditional and local leaders; and senior government; donor and partner officials. In Chad, circulation of an imported wild poliovirus has persisted for over a year, and malnutrition remains one of the biggest threats to childrens survival and development. Ms. Farrow participated in the launch of the nationwide polio immunization campaign in NDjamena, the capital, and also visited health, rehabilitation and therapeutic feeding centres, a cold-chain centre, displacement camps, and a UNICEF supply warehouse.