Measles and rubella vaccination campaign launched in Turkmenistan
Three million children and women target in new measles and rubella vaccination campaign
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, 12 November 2007 – The Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan has started a national vaccination campaign that will prevent children and women of Turkmenistan from measles and rubella. The measles and rubella vaccination campaign is supported by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and USAID funded Zdrav Plus project.
A two week vaccination campaign against measles and rubella is launched for the first time in Turkmenistan, and will cover the entire population of 7-23 years old and women of age 24-40 years old that represent about 3 million people or half the population of the country.
Vaccination is the only cost effective way of preventing congenital rubella infection, which often cause blindness, deafness and mental retardation. The vaccination against rubella is even more effective when used with measles vaccines.
“Turkmenistan’s high immunization coverage is a real success story. It is important that the country continues to sustain its high immunization coverage” - UNICEF Deputy Representative, Mr. Abdul Alim.
The official launch of the campaign took place this morning at the Children’s Palace in Ashgabat. “This landmark vaccination campaign will allow children, youth and women of fertile age to protect from the vaccine preventable diseases, such as rubella and measles. We are pleased and grateful to the international organizations and national partners for uniting in this great initiative,” said Maral Aksakova, Head of Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.
The vaccination of population will be carried out by 3,000 teams in all health houses and additional centres in schools and workplaces. Those who are unable to get vaccination during the two week campaign period will be offered to get immunized later.
Mr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF Deputy Representative underlined the importance of the landmark campaign by saying that “the healthy youth become productive citizens and contribute to the economy and prosperity of the country.”
“Turkmenistan’s high immunization coverage is a real success story. It is important that the country continues to sustain its high immunization coverage,” added Mr. Abdul Alim.
For more information please contact: