National campaign against polio launched in Kyrgyzstan
More than 1.5 million children under the age of 15 will be vaccinated
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 18 April 2011 – Today, the Deputy Minister of Health, the UNICEF Representative and WHO staff officially launched the first round of the national immunisation campaign against poliomyelitis.
Vaccinations are planned for the weeks 18-22 April and 23-27 May to prevent this dangerous virus from spreading in the country. During the campaign, healthcare workers, in partnership with specialists from the Ministry of Education and local authorities, will immunise 1,700,000 children aged under 15.
This will take place in the health clinics, schools, kindergartens, children institutions and also by over 600 mobile teams of health workers in the remote and isolated areas of the country.
“Last year, thanks to UNICEF and WHO, we successfully conducted a National Polio Campaign, and therefore no single case of polio has yet been registered in Kyrgyzstan” said Sabirjan Abdikarimov, Deputy Minister of Health in KR, at the press conference in Bishkek. He said that this year, medical workers would do their best to cover all children in the country under 15 years of age.
UNICEF is working with WHO, the Kyrgyz National Red Crescent Society, USAID to provide comprehensive support to the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Health in order to carry out the National Immunisation Days against polio.
“It’s easy to give a child two drops of vaccine to protect them from polio for the rest of their life”- said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative at the official ceremony of the National Polio Campaign Launch in Bishkek today.
This year UNICEF has bought 3,731,000 doses of trivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) to immunize 1,700,000 Kyrgyz children under the age of 15 during two rounds from three types of poliomyelitis. An additional 650 vaccine carriers were procured to equip mobile teams of medical workers who will vaccinate children in schools, kindergartens and in remote places.
UNICEF and the Kyrgyz National Red Crescent Society supported Ministry of Health to produce and disseminate informational and educational materials, mobilize communities and mass media.