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UNICEF delivers life-saving vaccine to polio-struck Tajikistan

© UNICEF Tajikistan / Sodiqov / 2010
More than four million doses of UNICEF-procured life-saving polio vaccine arrived in Dushanbe.

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 27 April 2010 – Almost four million doses of UNICEF-procured oral polio vaccine (OPV) were delivered to Dushanbe today. Over the next few days, the vaccine will be distributed to all health facilities throughout the country for a three-round national immunisation campaign against polio.

“We would like to thank all our partners at the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for helping us procure and deliver the vaccine in such a short period of time,” said Ayadil Saparbekov, Chief of Health and Nutrition in UNICEF Tajikistan. “I would like to urge all parents that have children aged 0 to 6 years to vaccinate their children during the National Immunisation Days to protect them from polio.”

The vaccine was procured by UNICEF with support from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The first round of the National Immunisation Days against polio will take place on 4-8 May 2010 and will be followed by another two rounds on 18-22 May and 1-5 June. Almost 1.1 million children aged 0 to 6 across Tajikistan will receive two drops of the live-saving polio vaccine during each round. Experience in outbreak interventions has shown that quick and repeated vaccination campaigns targeting children are highly effective in stopping outbreaks.

Polio has recently reappeared in Tajikistan after a 13-year absence, causing already 9 child deaths. Together with its partners at the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, UNICEF is now working with Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health to stop the outbreak and save children’s lives.

In addition to supplying vaccines, UNICEF will also support the Ministry of Health by leading communication and social mobilisation effort to inform the society about the campaign.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Alexander Sodiqov, UNICEF Tajikistan Communication Officer
Tel.: +992 (44) 600 01 90, 600 01 91, 600 01 92



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