Almost nine million children to be vaccinated
Maputo, 7 April 2005 – With a mass event in Maputo President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique kicked off a social mobilisation campaign for a national immunisation targeting 8.7 million children. The campaign, which will start at the end of July, includes vaccination against measles and polio as well as Vitamin A supplements. UNICEF is contributing million of doses of vaccines and Vitamin A syringes as well as other material.
“The success of this campaign greatly depends on the active participation and commitment of local authorities, civil society, community members and families in all provinces. The coming few months are critical as we accelerate our efforts to ensure that every child under 15 is vaccinated and no child is left behind,” UNICEF Representative Leila Pakkala said during the launch.
UNICEF will support the campaign with 9.7 million doses of measles vaccines and diluents, 3.2 million capsule of Vitamin A, 11.2 million auto-disable syringes, 500 cold boxes for transportation and storage of the vaccines, 5,500 vaccine carriers and other material such as safety boxes for disposal of injection material worth around 3.2 million US$.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is covering operational costs of around 3.7 million US$ by providing technical assistance including training of health workers, supervision, social mobilisation, transport of vaccines among others.
Both organisations are members of the International Measles Partnership which also includes the American Red Cross, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the UN Foundation.
The campaign will be carried out by around 5,000 staff giving the vaccine injection and an additional 33,000 activists and social mobilisers who altogether will make sure that even the most remote areas are being reached.
The Ministry of Health is organising a nation-wide social mobilisation campaign involving the media which started on 7 April (World Health Day). It aims at informing all parents, other caregivers, teachers and social workers and community leaders about the need to have their children vaccinated.