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1.2 million children immunized in West Bank and Gaza strip

RAMALLAH/GAZA CITY, 5 May 2005 –An immunization campaign against measles, mumps and rubella was launched today for 1.2 million children and young people in the West Bank and Gaza strip. 

There have been several reported cases of mumps and rubella among school aged children and university students respectively in various locations in the West Bank and there is a high risk that mumps could easily spread among school children.  All children must be protected against measles – one of the most contagious diseases as well.  Dozens of school immunization teams will, over the next few weeks, conduct operations in 15 districts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  In addition, health facilities and mobile health teams will assist in ensuring vaccinations from main cities to isolated villages. This campaign is partly sponsored by the Government of Japan.

The campaign, led by Palestinian Authority Ministries of Health, Education and Higher Education, UNICEF and United Nations Relief and Works Agency, is joined by other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to make it a success. 

“An outstanding joint effort by many actors backed by a large scale social mobilization campaign using radio, television, mosques and printed material will help in realizing one of the largest public health campaigns ever implemented in the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Representative.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been around for nearly 30 years, and is now used in over 90 countries to control major childhood diseases.  Measles is responsible for approximately one-third of the estimated 1.4 million deaths every year due to vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. 

UNICEF – the world’s most influential advocate for children - has been working to improve the situation of children and women in oPt since the early 1980s. Go to: www.unicef.org/oPt.

For further information, please contact:

Monica Awad, UNICEF Occupied Palestinian Territory, 057784374, Mawad@uncief.org

Joan Assali, UNICEF Occupied Palestinian Territory 0577-631360, JAssali@unicef.org


 

 

 

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