New six year vaccine procurement MOU will ensure universal immunization coverage in Turkmenistan
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - 30 September 2009 – The Government of Turkmenistan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF for procurement of life saving vaccines, drugs and other medical supplies. With the signing of the agreement the government has reiterated its commitment to protect children from various forms of vaccine preventable diseases.
Immunization is considered one of the most cost-effective health investments. During the next six years (2010-2015), UNICEF will assist the Government of Turkmenistan in procuring all vital immunization supplies to the routine series of vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and poliomyelitis to children, as well as in introducing new vaccines into the national immunization schedule.
"Signing of the MOU for securing high quality vaccines and other essential medical supplies is a major step forward on the part of the Government of Turkmenistan in meeting children's rights for health. It is the third MOU with the Government of Turkmenistan, which clearly demonstrates Government’s commitment to sustain the progress already made in public health and move further for ultimate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),” stated Samphe Lhalungpa, UNICEF Turkmenistan Representative.
Partnership of the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF on immunization started in 1994 when the Government signed an agreement called the Vaccine Independence Initiative that established systems whereby Turkmenistan began receiving their full requirements of vaccines needed for the primary series of National Immunization Programme. In 2002, Turkmenistan introduced universal immunization against hepatitis B. Since then Turkmenistan became fully self-sufficient in vaccine procurement and has sustained 98% of immunization coverage.
The Government-UNICEF collaboration in the field of immunization is not limited to vaccines procurement only. UNICEF with participation of other UN and international organizations has provided support to the Government of Turkmenistan in polio eradication, training on immunization programme management, safe immunization practices, upgrading existing cold chain facilities, and development of a computerized monitoring system for vaccine distribution and utilization.
More information on UNICEF’s global immunization programme can be found at: http://www.unicef.org/immunization
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