A Promise Renewed: Diphtheria Immunization Campaign launched in Tajikistan
2.5 million children and young people will be vaccinated against diphtheria
DUSHANBE, September 24, 2012 – The Government of Tajikistan, with support from UNICEF and WHO, starts the second phase of a national diphtheria vaccination campaign today. It will be carried out in two rounds: from 24-29 September 2012 for 7-21 years and round from 29 October – 3 November for 13-21 years.
In April of this year, the country conducted the first phase of the campaign for children aged 3-6 years, while the current phase targets a higher age group.
The Government of the Russian Federation made a generous grant of US$1 million through UNICEF, thus matching the Government of Tajikistan’s own allocation to this campaign amounting to TJS 5 million.
The contribution from the Russian Federation is used for procurement of auto-disable syringes and safety boxes, to ensure safe, single-time use for syringes or needles, as well as provision of additional cold chain equipment for safe storage and transportation of vaccines.
"This vaccination is essential and important in protecting the health of children and young people. It is one of the most cost-effective health interventions available, saving many people from illness, disability and death each year. The immunization saves lives! - said Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of WHO Country office in Tajikistan.
UNICEF and WHO worked closely with the Government to raise public awareness about the diphtheria vaccination campaign through various social mobilization activities, including broadcasting of public service announcements on TV and radio, to ensure that every child in the country is reached.
Early in 2012, Tajikistan joined 113 governments as well as numerous organizations to sign a pledge “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed”. This campaign reiterates a global, multi-stakeholder commitment to unite around a clear and compelling goal: to give every child the best possible start in life.
“The diphtheria vaccination campaign is one practical way in which Tajikistan is demonstrating its renewed promise to prioritise child survival. We know that children are insufficiently protected against diphtheria and the campaign gives us a good opportunity to rectify this situation and improve the health, development and survival of children”, said Mr. Arthur van Diesen, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Tajikistan.
For further information, please contact:
World Health Organization in Tajikistan
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF ) in Tajikistan