Mass Immunization Campaign against Measles and Rubella Starts in Azerbaijan
BAKU, 24 February, 2006 - About 3 million children and young people aged 7-23 nationwide and 7-29 in Baku will be immunized against measles and rubella between 27 February and 13 March in Azerbaijan.
The main goal of mass immunization campaign is to provide vaccination opportunities to all measles and rubella susceptible children, adolescents and young adults, thus interrupting indigenous transmission of the diseases in Azerbaijan.
The campaign is a key part of Azerbaijan's overall measles elimination and congenital rubella infection prevention strategy and 6614 vaccination centres are being equipped nationwide.
“The needs of children are ignored at a great cost to the well being of society, and the needs of children in Azerbaijan and throughout the world are urgent. Perhaps each of us can do only small part for the health of children, but collectively our efforts are beginning to make a difference. There is so much more to do, and we must do it now!” said Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich.
UNICEF has supported the Government campaign by providing significant financial and technical support in planning, supply procurement, cold chain maintenance and communication for the Mass Measles and Rubella Immunization Campaign (MRC). Out of USD 1,800,000 of total resources committed for MRC, as much as USD 1,650,000 were allocated to supply/procurement and USD 150,000 devoted for the Social Mobilization activities, including trainings, briefings and workshops for central and district-level partners.
WHO has provided technical assistance in planning and review of the different aspects of the campaign at national and district levels on safety immunization practices, vaccine coverage, surveillance, training, development of training materials and adverse events following immunization (AEFI) surveillance system.
Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation has also provided technical support in planning, supply procurement, cold chain maintenance, trainings of health personnel and social mobilization efforts, altogether allocating USD 1,100,000.
Rubella, a disease that causes a mild rash if contracted in childhood, often leads to serious and sometimes fatal complications in the unborn child when a previously uninfected woman acquires the infection early in pregnancy. Congenital rubella infections are preventable through immunization.
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