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Success of the first round of the polio campaign increases chances for polio-free Abkhazia but second round still ahead

© UNICEF/Geo-2010/Canaud
A child getting polio drops in one of the schools in Sukhumi, Abkhazia

SUKHUMI, 24 November 2010 – 98 per cent of all children aged 0-17 were immunized against polio during the first round of the Immunization campaign in Abkhazia. The first round of the campaign led by the Abkhaz health authorities and supported by UNICEF and the European Union was carried out from 8 to 14 November 2010.
The success of the first round of the campaign is confirmed by the data showing the high coverage rate. During 8 – 14 November 2010 hundreds of vaccination points were open in all regions of Abkhazia, vaccination was also carried out in all schools and kindergartens, more than 50 mobile units were deployed to reach every child in the most remote rural areas. 

“We are making progress but much still needs to be done.” UNICEF Representative Roeland Monasch stressed. “Protecting against polio is a lifesaving intervention and active participation of various members of the society including traditional and religious leaders, health and education authorities, civil society as well as the population at large is important in making Abkhazia polio-free.”

In order to provide maximum protection of all children against poliomyelitis it is important to conduct two rounds of immunization. The second round of the polio campaign will take place on the 6 – 12 December 2010 targeting the same age group of children as during the first round.

UNICEF is on the ground in 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  

For further information, please contact:
Maya Kurtsikidze, Communication Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 23 23 88, 25 11 30, mob: (995 99) 53 30 71

Dragan Markovic, UNICEF Emergency Officer




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