More than 18 million polio vaccines provided in the Congo
Brazzaville, Congo, 11 January, 2010 – "Starting today, more than four million Congolese will be vaccinated against polio for the third time since November," declared Marianne Flach, UNICEF Country Representative in the Republic of Congo.
"It is an opportunity to ensure that this polio outbreak be stopped. Until today this disease has affected 527 people and killed 187."
To respond to this challenge, UNICEF has managed to provide over 18 million vaccines to the people of Congo through the Congolese Ministry of Health and Population.
These vaccines will have been administered via three rounds of vaccinations since November 2010 in order to control this disease and even eradicate it in the long term.
"Since the beginning of the outbreak the Government of Congo responded in a quick and efficient manner to this emergency, which has helped ensure the success of this vaccination campaign," assures Ms. Flach.
"UNICEF continues to encourage the Congolese Government, as well as all its partners, to enable quality routine vaccination programmes as the only means able to prevent the repetition of such outbreaks."
UNICEF has been a leader in assuring that the capacity of domestic vaccination programmes is reinforced in order for each person to benefit from good quality and timely vaccinations, through adequate logistics, delivery and an appropriate cold chain.
UNICEF is working with the World Health Organization and other strategic partners, such as the Congolese Ministry of Health, the Congolese Red Cross, Rotary International and other UN agencies.
The agency is investing significant resources in the response to the polio outbreak. To be able to fully control this outbreak, contributions from donors and other partners continue to be necessary.
"So far this effort seems to have been successful, since the number of new polio cases continues to decrease," says Ms. Flach.
"We have to keep the pace until the end of the campaign; it is the only way we can truly contribute to the health and future of the Congolese people."
The vaccination campaign will reach some the remotest communities in Congo and is a demonstration of UNICEF’s commitment that even the most disadvantaged should have equal access to services aimed at improving and saving lives.
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