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    107985

    Vaccination efforts lauded in Brazil.

    VACCINE WEEKLY. 1994 Dec 19; 12-3.

    According to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report, which evaluated progress toward fulfillment of the 29 recommendations of the Childhood Pact signed in 1993 by 22 of Brazil's 27 provincial governors, large-scale vaccination programs have been successful while attempts to improve education have not. The pact covered the rights of children and adolescents, the reduction of infant mortality, and improved health and education services. Massive vaccination efforts have eradicated polio from Brazil and reduced measles from 23,000 cases in 1992 to 124 cases in 1993 and 14 cases, to date, in 1994. However, 77% of primary school students are over the expected age for their educational level; plans to increase literacy among adolescents who lack primary education were frustrated, and teacher's strikes in many states cut into their time with students. In 1993, classes were suspended in 10 states to protest poor salaries and a lack of respect for teachers, another issue to be addressed by the pact. Provision of lunches for at least 180 days of the year in order to prevent malnutrition and boost school attendance in the poorest areas was also in the pact, but 17 of the 22 states which signed the pact have yet to do implement lunch programs. UNICEF, the executive secretary of the pact, has released a document, "Expectations for 1995-1998," suggesting renewal of the pact in combination with other measures to ensure the survival and development of Brazil's children.
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