UNICEF supports an immunization campaign against polio in Syria

Over 545,000 children under five was reached with lifesaving vaccine, thanks to WHO and partners.

UNICEF
28 October 2020

UNICEF, WHO and partners concluded a five-day national immunization campaign against polio, reaching around 545,000 children under the age of five in Damascus and rural Damascus with the lifesaving vaccine. The campaign was carried out through 188 fixes health centres and over 300 mobile health teams in the two governorates.

newborn receiving vaccine drops
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Leen, 6 days, receives her first-ever polio vaccine at a UNICEF-supported health centre in Damascus city as part of the five-day national immunisation campaign supported by UNICEF, WFP and partners.
health worker marking a child finger
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Mohammad, 2, gets his pinky marked as an indication that he has received his vaccine against polio, administered by a mobile health team in Idashari neighbourhood in Damascus city, as part of the give-day national immunization campaign supported by UNICEF, WFP and partners.
child receiving vaccine drops
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Hasan Bilal
Bailasan, 18 months, receives her polio vaccine administered by a mobile health team in the war-ravaged town of Douma, rural Damascus, as part of the five-day national immunization campaign supported by UNICEF, WFP and partners “We ran to the street as soon as we heard the health workers announce the campaign in the neighbourhood through loudspeakers,” says Bailasan’s mother.

“We ran to the street as soon as we heard the health workers announce the campaign in the neighbourhood through loudspeakers,”

Bailasan’s mother
child receiving vaccine drops
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Hasan Bilal
Zuhair, 3, receives his vaccine against polio, administered by a mobile health team in the war-ravaged town of Douma, rural Damascus, as part of the five-day national immunisation campaign supported by UNICEF, WFP and partners.
girl getting her finger marked
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Hasan Bilal
Arlet, 4, gets her pinky marked as an indication that she has received her vaccine against polio, at a UNICEF-supported medical centre in Douma, rural Damascus. Arlet’s family heard of the campaign through radio spots placed by UNICEF prior to the campaign.
girl getting her finger marked
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Hasan Bilal
Sana, 3, gets her pinky marked to indicate that she has received her vaccine against polio, at a UNICEF-supported health centre in Douma, rural Damascus.

Thanks to generous contributions from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), GAVI, the vaccine alliance, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), UNICEF provided vaccines and accompanying Vitamin A supplements, as well as necessary cold chain equipment to ensure the safety of the vaccines. Prior to the immunization campaign, UNICEF also supported 340 community outreach volunteers going door-to-door to talk to families about the safety and importance of the vaccines, as well as the locations and dates of the campaign. Volunteers also held meetings and awareness sessions with community leaders to mobilize support for the campaign.