An additional 100.00 children and young people pretected against mumps in Moldova
Chisinau, 24 April 2008 – UNICEF delivered nearly 100,000 vaccine doses to the National Centre for Preventive Medicine. These vaccines will be used in the national immunization campaign for children and young people born between 1989 and 1994 carried out by the Ministry of Health to stop the mumps epidemics.
“This is how UNICEF responded to the Government's request for vaccines”, mentioned the representative of UNICEF in the Republic of Moldova, Ray Virgilio Torres. “We are glad to help Moldovan Government to protect 100,000 children against mumps”.
“This donation from UNICEF will permit us to cover the need for vaccines against mumps, and the immunization campaign will successfully be finalized”, declared the main epidemiologist of Moldova, Anatol Melnic. “I would like to assure you that the quality of the vaccine is fine. I call on all concerned children and young people to come for vaccination without any fears- for their health and the health of future mothers and fathers” added Mister Melnic.
The vaccine donated by Merck is a combined vaccine against three diseases – mumps, rubella and measles. The vaccine was accepted by the Moldovan Ministry of Health following the recommendation of the World Health Organization.
In March 2008, UNICEF brought into the country of a first lot of 210,000 booster shots against mumps, purchased with World Bank funds. This took place after the Government asked for support from the international community to purchase 600,000 booster shots necessary to stop the epidemic. The joint efforts have already resulted in immediate results – the number of mumps cases significantly dropped. According to the last data of the National Centre for Preventive Medicine, last week 1,470 cases of mumps were registered in the country compared to 2,351 cases the previous week. The spread of the infection is particularly reduced in Chisinau, Balti and Ungheni.
According to the data of the Ministry of Health, since the beginning of the current year a total number of nearly 24,800 people got infected with mumps- of which 9,615 persons were hospitalized, most of them having suffered some complications such as pancreatitis, meningitis, orchitis etc. Children and young people between 14 and 24 years proved to be the most vulnerable – 80 percent of them contracted the disease in educational institutions.
For additional information:
Lina Botnaru, Media Officer of UNICEF