Children in Typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, receive vaccines against measles, polio
TACLOBAN/MANILA, The Philippines, 26 November 2013 - Children in Tacloban - the city hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan - were today vaccinated against measles and polio in the first phase of a mass campaign by the Government of the Philippines with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other partners. They also received Vitamin A supplements to help improve their immunity against infections.
Over 30,000 children are expected to be reached by the campaign which is taking place at fixed sites in evacuation centres and in communities using mobile health teams.
At government’s request, UNICEF purchased over US$2 million worth of vaccines to replenish in-country stocks now being used for the campaign. In addition, UNICEF and WHO are helping to re-establish the broken cold chain, which is critical in keeping vaccines at the right temperature.
"WHO staff hand-carried supplies from Manila to Tacloban, coordinated teams to give the vaccines and trained them on how to do it under these difficult circumstances. It is virtually unprecedented that within two and a half weeks of a disaster of this scale, with this level of devastation and these logistical challenges, that a mass vaccination campaign is already rolling out," says Dr. Julie Hall, WHO Representative in the Philippines.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Nyka Alexander, WHO Communications Officer, Manila, tel: +63 906 493 5097, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gregory Härtl, WHO Coordinator, News and Social Media, Geneva, tel: +41 79 203 6715, email@example.com