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Two rounds of polio immunization to be conducted in Kyrgyzstan

© 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, 19 July 2010 – Today the first round of the National Immunization Days against polio (poliomyelitis) was launched simultaneously in Osh and Bishkek. The campaign was conducted to prevent the import and spread of the polio virus in Kyrgyzstan.

During the campaign, medical staff of the health care facilities in partnership with local authorities will carry out two rounds of nationwide vaccination of more than half a million children under 5 years of age.

Children will be vaccinated in health care facilities or at temporary immunization posts with the help of mobile vaccination teams. “The only way of poliomyelitis prevention is immunization,” said Sabirjan Abdikarimov, Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic during the Launch of the Campaign in Bishkek this morning.

“For this reason Ministry of Health requested support from the international organizations. 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 full support to the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyz Republic in implementing National Immunization Days against poliomyelitis.

“The upcoming vaccination campaigns are excellent opportunities to come together to protect the health of future generations" said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan at the launch.

© 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.

"We must ensure this very important health protection initiative reaches out to all children under 5 years in all communities throughout the country," he added.

Poliomyelitis is a dangerous infectious disease.

Polio is transmitted quickly and widely. If the immunization campaign is not sufficiently effective, the virus can be transmitted to children throughout the country or even to neighboring countries. One non-vaccinated child endangers the health of all other children. One of the keys to success of this campaign is to ensure access of oral polio vaccine to high-risk children – those who live in remote and geographically isolated regions of the country. The well-coordinated work of the public health system in the country is necessary to ensure full coverage and prevention.

Oral polio vaccine (ОPV) is safe and effective. It is the vaccine recommended by WHO for polio eradication. OPV has been used throughout the world since many years, and already helped decreasing the number of polio cases by more than 99%, thereby preventing paralysis in over 5 million children. Each dose of OPV adds to the strengthening of the child’s immunity against polio.

UNICEF has purchased 1 million 600 thousand doses of OPV for US$ 270,000 enough for two rounds of additional vaccination of every child under 5 years of age in Kyrgyzstan. Vaccines are pre-qualified by WHO, supplied by manufacturers who hold WHO certificates and meet international quality standards for vaccine production.

In addition, UNICEF in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners has produced 700,000 brochures, as well as banners and posters in order to appropriately inform the population. Each child will be provided with a special vaccination card

Fore more information, please contact:

Olga Grebennikova, UNICEF Media Liaison Officer
Tel: + 996 312 61-12-24 (139)
Mob. + 996 555 712-699, +996 775 580-279




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