Anti-mumps vaccines arrive in Moldova to protect children and young people
UNICEF delivers 100,000 mumps vaccines doses donated by Merck
Chisinau, 24 April 2008 – UNICEF has delivered nearly 100,000 vaccine doses to the National Centre for Preventive Medicine in the Republic of Moldova. These vaccines will be used in the national immunization campaign for children and young people who were born between 1989 and 1994 carried out by the Ministry of Health to stop the mumps epidemics.
“This is how UNICEF responded to the Government's request for vaccines”, said the UNICEF Representative to the Republic of Moldova, Ray Virgilio Torres. “We are glad to help Moldovan Government to protect 100,000 children against mumps”.
“This donation from UNICEF will permit us to cover the need for vaccines against mumps, and the immunization campaign will successfully be finalized”, declared the main epidemiologist of Moldova, Anatol Melnic. “I would like to assure you that the quality of the vaccine is fine. I call on all concerned children and young people to come for vaccination without any fears- for their health and the health of future mothers and fathers” added Mister Melnic.
The vaccine donated by Merck is a combined vaccine against three diseases – mumps, rubella and measles. The vaccine was accepted by the Moldovan Ministry of Health following the recommendation of the World Health Organization.
In March 2008, UNICEF brought into the country the first lot of 210,000 booster shots against mumps, purchased with World Bank funds. This happened after the Government asked for support from the international community to purchase 600,000 booster shots necessary to stop the epidemic. The joint efforts have had an immediate effect, the number of mumps cases has significantly dropped. According to the last data of the National Centre for Preventive Medicine, last week 1,470 cases of mumps were registered in the country compared to 2,351 cases the previous week. The spread of the infection is particularly reduced in Chisinau, Balti and Ungheni.
According to Moldovan Ministry of Health data, since the beginning of the current year a total number of nearly 24,800 people became infected with mumps, of which 9,615 persons were hospitalised, most of them having suffered some complications such as pancreatitis, meningitis, and orchitis. Children and young people aged between 14 and 24 years proved to be the most vulnerable – 80 percent of them contracted the disease in educational institutions.
For additional information:
Lina Botnaru, Media Officer of UNICEF - tel: +373- 22- 22 00 34, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org