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Two rounds of immunization against poliomyelitis will be conducted in Kyrgyzstan to prevent the importation and further transmission of the virus in the country

© UNICEF / Kyrgyzstan / 2010
A mother of three, Aijana, said: “We came because it’s important to protect the children. We saw the spot on the National TV and realized polio is incurable so it's better to prevent it.”

More than half a million of children under  5 years of age will be vaccinated

Bishkek, July 16 – On July 19, 2010 the first round of the National campaign of immunization against poliomyelitis will begin in Kyrgyzstan. The campaign will be conducted in July and August to prevent the importation  and transmission of the polio virus in the country. 

During this period of time the health care workers of health care facilities in the partnership with local authorities all through the country will conduct two-times vaccination of more than half a million of children under 5 years of age in health care facilities or at temporary immunization posts with the help of mobile vaccination teams.

«The only method of poliomyelitis prevention is immunization, - said Doctor S.T. Abdikarimov, Deputy Minister of health, the chief sanitary doctor of Kyrgyz Republic. – For this reason Ministry of Health turned to international organizations for support. Thanks to UNICEF activities 1 600 000 doses of vaccine were supplied to the country». 

WHO, UNICEF, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), National Red Crescent Society  and other partners of Global Initiative on polio eradication provide all round support to the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyz Republic in the National Immunization Days against poliomyelitis.

US Ambassador to Kyrgyz Republic Tatiana K. Gfeller said at the press-conference: «The United States of America are glad to continue the support of the National campaign of immunization against poliomyelitis in Kyrgyzstan to prevent this disease in the country and the region, and happy to help children to be healthy. We hope that $200 000 from the American people for Kyrgyzstan will make positive changes and will help to prevent the outbreak of poliomyelitis in the country and in the region».

The campaign will begin on July 19 and it is the first stage out of two vitally important rounds of immunization. The experience shows that multiple campaigns of vaccination, aimed at target groups of the population, allow to prevent the importation of the virus and its transmission in the country .

National Immunization Days against poliomyelitis will be conducted on the whole territory of Kyrgyzstan in two steps: from July 19 till July 23 and from August 23 till August 27, 2010.

© UNICEF / Kyrgyzstan / 2010
Due to successful information and social mobilization campaign facilitated by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic parents brought their under five children to vaccination point at the very beginning of the polio campaign.

Poliomyelitis is a dangerous infectious disease.

Poliomyelitis is transmitted quickly to long distances. If the immunization campaign is not effective enough, virus can be transmitted to children all through the country or even in neighboring countries. One non-vaccinated child endangers the health of all children around him. One of the keys to the success of this campaign is the access to oral polio vaccine for high-risk children – those children who live in remote and geographically isolated regions of the country. The well-coordinated work of public health system all through the country is necessary to ensure overall coverage and polio prevention.

Oral polio vaccine (ОPV) is a safe, effective vaccine. It is one of the vaccines, which is recommended by WHO for polio eradication. UNICEF has purchased 1 million 600 thousand doses of OPV for two times additional vaccination of each child under 5 years of age all through Kyrgyzstan. Each dose of OPV adds to the strengthening of the immunity of a child against poliomyelitis. Vaccines are bought from the manufacturers who hold WHO certificates and meet international vaccine quality standards.

UNICEF supplied US$ 270,000 of OPV for the campaign, this is in use throughout the world and has already decreased the prevalence of wild polio virus by more than 99%, thereby preventing paralysis in more than 5 million children. In addition, UNICEF has supported the social mobilization campaign with the production and supply of information materials, pamphlets etc. for a total of US$ 60,000. Welcoming the campaign, Mr. Samphe Lhalungpa, UNICEF Representative a.i. said, “This polio campaign is an opportunity for everyone in society: Government, local bodies, communities & families to work in the defense of all the children of Kyrgyzstan.”

Global initiative on eradication and prevention of poliomyelitis

Global initiative on eradication and prevention of poliomyelitis is supported by national governments, WHO, Rotary International, CDC and UNICEF. Global efforts on polio eradication resulted in the decrease of poliomyelitis cases from 350 000 in 1988 to less than 2000 cases in 2005.

Only four countries in the world continue to be endemic for poliomyelitis - Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Afganistan.  Nevertheless polio virus is imported from these countries to the territories of the countries which are free from polio and cause outbreaks of this disease especially in those places where there are groups of non-vaccinated children.
As long as poliomyelitis exists in the world, all children are exposed to the risk of this desease. 



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