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Nationwide measles campaign protects more than seven million children

© UNICEF Madagascar/2004
This girl is ready for the vaccination
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 11 November 2004 – More than seven million children – or 97.7 per cent of the total goal of 7.7 million – have been vaccinated against measles during Madagascar’s nationwide immunization campaign.

“This is truly momentous for our country and most certainly for our children,” declared Madagascar’s Minister of Health Jean Louis Robinson. “This success underscores our enduring commitment for eliminating diseases that disable, debilitate and kill our young.”

© UNICEF Madagascar/2004
A group of anxious children await their turn at a vaccination post
Before the campaign, some 6 out of 10 children in Madagascar had not been immunized, and were therefore vulnerable to diseases such as measles, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

“The success of this campaign will bring the country closer to eradicating this disease forever,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Andre Ndikuyeze. “The next step is now to strengthen routine surveillance to ensure that no more children die from measles.”

© UNICEF Madagascar/2004
Children proudly show off their immunization cards after being vaccinated against measles
The campaign, which ran from 13 September to 8 October 2004, is part of a long-term strategy for strengthening routine immunization. Known as ‘Reach Every District’, the efforts will be expanded in the upcoming years, with technical and financial assistance from UNICEF and WHO.

Among the international partners who made this campaign possible are UNICEF, WHO, the UN Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Rotary. Numerous private companies - as well as thousands of community workers, volunteers, scouts, army personnel and religious groups - also participated.



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