Immunization is one of the world’s most cost-effective public health interventions, saving millions of lives and protecting countless children from illness and disability.
The Expanded Programme on Immunization has been successfully implemented in Turkey which resulted in high immunization coverage. However, refugee children arrive in Turkey with a lot of missing doses of vaccination due to a collapse of vaccination programmes in their country of origin. Even after their settlement in Turkey, these children are still missing doses due to poor access to current vaccination programmes.
UNICEF in Turkey worked closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on vaccination campaigns for all refugee and migrant children under five in 2017.
These campaigns aimed to protect children against a variety of communicable diseases including polio, heamophilus influenza, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and Hepatitis B. Children are screened and registered to the Health Information System in all provinces, with a focus on the most refugee pupulated provinces.
UNICEF together with MoH expanded the refugee health response in Turkey beyond immunization to support and build the capacity of Syrian health care providers. UNICEF supports the MoH to increase vaccines' cold chain and logistics capacity in Migrant Health Centers which were opened by MoH and served refugees by Syrian health professionals.