Immunization for better child health: a trip with the National Polio Campaign team in Erbil, Iraq

Immunization for better child health

Krman Kamal
A child is getting immunization
UNICEF Iraq/2019/Krman
25 April 2019

Whenever you ask people about the most important thing in life the answer is usually good health.

During the month of April in Erbil Iraq, the National Polio Immunization Campaign came to town with a door to door drive to vaccinate children between the ages of one day to five years. The campaign team was made up of two mobile teams, one conducting the immunization and the other raising awareness among families on the importance of immunization for every child. The educational campaign ran for three days and after which parents took their children to their nearest health center to get their shots.

We accompanied a mobile team as they visited Tayrawa neighborhood in Erbil. When the team got to the location, they began by knocking on doors to ensure that the families were aware of their presence. After that, they asked about the age of the children, when the team confirmed the children were within the target age, they immunized them and marked their left hand to show they've received their shots.

Health people writing on the doors during immunization process
UNICEF Iraq/2019/Krman

When the team finished immunizing children within a household, they marked the door of the house with a symbol, this way they can track their progress and follow up on houses that have unmarked doors.

The team members were patient and used humor with the kids to put them at ease. Four-year-old Tazhna was one of the children that happily received her the polio drops without shedding any tears.


The drops are bitter, but I will tell my friends not to be afraid and get them so that when we grow up we will not have any health issues.

Tazhna said
A little girl got immunization
UNICEF Iraq/2019/Krman

Elfa is six months old and has always received her immunization and vaccinations on time thanks to her mother’s commitment to good health for her daughter.

I always look at Elfa’s health forms to know when it’s time to take her to the health center, it is really important to take care of our children and not neglect the immunization and the vaccination that they should get.

Elfa’s mother said

UNICEF and its partners, health authorities in Baghdad and Erbil, the World Health Organization, targeted 5.8 million children nationwide during this campaign, with generous support from Canada.