DUSHANBE, 6 June 2012 - UNICEF Tajikistan today received a 1 million US dollar grant from the Russian Federation for the second national diphtheria immunisation campaign this year targeting 2.5 million children and young people.
More than half of population surveyed has no protective immunity against diphtheria, a 2010 survey of populations’ immunity levels against major vaccine-preventable diseases revealed.
The findings of this survey highlighted the need to improve routine immunisation delivery, and support a one-time diphtheria-tetanus (DT) supplementary national immunisation campaign to rapidly close immunity gaps and prevent diphtheria outbreaks.
The first round of the campaign held this year in April targeted all children aged 3 to 6 years and covered almost 700,000 children (98 per cent of the target).
"Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective health interventions available, saving many people from illness, disability and death each year. The grant provided by the Government of the Russian Federation enhances our ability to get Tajik people vaccinated against diphtheria”, said Mr. Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative in Tajikistan.
The second phase of the campaign scheduled for September 2012 will target all population from 7 to 21 years old.
The Government of Tajikistan has secured TJS 5 million (US$ 1 million) from the state budget to procure DT and TD vaccines. UNICEF has already procured the vaccines through WHO/UN pre-qualified manufacturer and delivered to the country.
“This donation from the Russian Federation will contribute immensely to the prevention of a diphtheria outbreak and improvement of routine immunisation services,” said Ms. Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan.
This contribution from the Russian Federation will be used to buy auto-disabled syringes and safety boxes, which will ensure a single-time use for syringes or needles.
The aid will also help the second phase of the campaign by facilitating health worker training and independent monitoring. Additional cold chain equipment will also be procured to ensure safe storage and transportation of vaccines.
For further information, please contact:
World Health Organization in Tajikistan:
Ms. Tahmina Alimamedova
Tel.: +992 (907) 780119
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF ) in Tajikistan:
Ms. Parveena Muhammedkhajaeva
Tel.: +992 (918) 31 00 71