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Measles campaign kicks off for Sudanese refugees in Chad

N’DJAMENA, CHAD, 4 March 2004 – UNICEF Representative, Mr Cyrille Niameogo, and the Minister of Public Health, Mrs Aziza Baroud, today launched a campaign to vaccinate nearly 90,000 children, many of them refugees from Sudan living in eastern Chad against measles, the biggest vaccine-preventable killer disease in the world.  The launch took place in Iriba, a small town located at more than 1000 km of the capital city N’Djamena.

The campaign, which will also include the distribution of Vitamin A,  aims to reach 86,4000 children, aged six month to 15 years.   Around 50 per cent of the children are from Sudan, and the 50 per cent are indigenous children from the Sudan frontier region.

The campaign will take twelve days and will cover four districts, in the two regions of Wadi-Fira and Ouaddaï.  Three hundred trained health workers will leave for over 1,000 villages and places where refugees live.  Sixteen all-terrain vehicles, several motorcycles and thirty horses will help carry out the programme to the most remote areas. It is a real challenge to reach all the population since the refugees are located in areas poorly accessible all along a 600  km remote and insecure borderland.

The risk of epidemics in the region is high.  Populations are living in close quarters, and in rough conditions including a lack of sanitary facilities, cold nights, sand storms and insufficient nutrition.  The Vitamin A supplements is essential for young people to reinforce their immune systems and to protect them from blindness. 

In all, 95,000 doses of measles vaccines will be supplied by UNICEF along with syringes and other medical supplies for a cost of $35,201.00.  The total cost of the vaccination campaign supported by UNICEF is estimated to be $141.200.

The campaign is being carried out with the cooperation of the Chad Ministry of Public Health, WHO and the other agencies in the UN, as well as several NGOs working in eastern Chad.

Press contact:

Christine Jaulmes, chargée de Communciation : 
cjaulmes@unicef.org , Bureau UNICEF-TCHAD, Tel 00 235 - 51.89.89 Cell : 00 235 – 29 56 48




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