Turkmenistan launches polio vaccination campaign
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, 22 April 2011 – Around 600,000 Turkmenistan children from birth to five years old will receive vital drops against polio as part of the Polio Vaccination Campaign that starts on 25 April 2011. UNICEF supported the Government of Turkmenistan by procuring 1,5 million dozes of polio vaccines.
The campaign is timed to the European Immunization Week (EIW) annually marked by countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States from 23 to 30 April 2011. The first round of the Polio Vaccination Campaign will last from 25 to 30 April and the second round will be organized from 30 May to 4 June. As part of the European Immunization Week under the theme “Shared solutions to common threats”, health workers throughout the country will organize public awareness sessions on importance of timely vaccination from vaccine preventable diseases.
For the national polio vaccination rounds UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry disseminated information flyers and posters inviting families to take their children to health houses for vaccination. For health workers UNICEF and the Ministry published a reference guide on polio vaccination that will serve as a useful tool in providing communities with accurate information. UNICEF, WHO and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry will monitor implementation of the national polio campaign throughout the country. For the first time in Turkmenistan, WHO will facilitate use of finger markers to support effective monitoring of the polio campaign.
In the framework of the EIW, special hotline services were created in health houses; contests on knowledge of new vaccines will be organized among vaccinators, medical students and professors; TV and radio spots will be broadcast and articles published in media; “healthy life style and vaccination” lessons will be organized in schools and awareness sessions will be carried out for pregnant women.
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