Côte d’Ivoire : yellow fever vaccination campaign underway
More than 800,000 targeted to prevent deadly outbreaks
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 20 January 2011 – A vaccination campaign against yellow fever is scheduled to get underway tomorrow in this West African nation, targeting more than 830,000 people in four districts aged nine months and older.
The campaign will last for seven days. "We are extremely grateful to GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, for providing the yellow fever vaccines and for our partners the World Health Organization for working with UNICEF to make this critically important campaign possible," said UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire Officer-in-Charge Sylvie Dossou.
"This vaccination drive also shows the world that despite the political impasse in the country, lifesaving humanitarian work continues to be done in Côte d’Ivoire and that we are reaching the most vulnerable."
The campaign is targeting the districts of Katiola and Beoumi – where since last November there have been 66 recorded cases of yellow fever with 25 deaths recorded (a fatality rate of 35%).
Seguela and Mankono districts are also where vaccination teams will work.
"These are largely rural districts where overall child vaccination rates are unacceptably low," said Dr. Eli Ramamonjisoa, Chief of UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire’s Child Survival Section.
"We are also working with our partners to replenish vaccine and anti-retroviral therapy stocks throughout the country, especially in hard-to-reach areas."
The severity of yellow fever, a potentially lethal infection transmitted by mosquitoes, is such that a single confirmed case in a country constitutes an epidemic.
There is no known cure, but one injection provides immunity for ten years.
Children are especially vulnerable to the disease.
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