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Nationwide immunization success in Georgia

© UNICEF Georgia/2005/Pirozzi
A young boy is vaccinated at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Tbilisi. Children in the capital are now monitored to ensure they receive lifesaving immunization.

NEW YORK, 17 January 2005 – Since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has been struggling to modernize. A decade of civil unrest and economic upheaval caused the public health system to collapse and the number of children immunized against preventable diseases dropped to just 30 per cent.

But now UNICEF is helping the Government restore these vital services by supplying vaccinations, syringes, essential cold storage equipment as well as training paediatricians and health workers.

“Immunization is one of our success stories,” says UNICEF’s Georgia Representative Ismail Ould Cheickh Ahmed. “With UNICEF support and a number of partners, we have been able to bring the number of children immunized back up to 95 percent.”

© UNICEF Georgia/2005/Pirozzi
UNICEF has helped restart Georgia’s immunization programme by supplying vaccines, syringes and essential cold storage equipment.

Children visiting health clinics in the capital Tbilisi are now monitored to ensure they receive the vaccinations they need for their first year and beyond. And mobile outreach teams take vaccinations to remote villages in the more inaccessible parts of the country.

“The challenge now is to sustain this success by making sure that the government can take over,” says Ismail Ould Cheickh Ahmed. “This started last year when they took over [supplying] 20 percent of the vaccines and this year they took 30 percent. We can then redirect our resources, which are very limited to other parties.”

As well as supporting the country’s national immunization programme, UNICEF and its partners are also helping the government provide a range of basic health services for children and women.




17 February 2005: UNICEF helps restart immunization in Georgia

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