UNICEF delivers 3,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine to Ukraine

29 August 2023
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UNICEF

UNICEF has delivered 3,000 doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine to Ukraine in support of a request from Ukraine’s Ministry of Health. 

The delivery comprises part of UNICEF’s support to children and families in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions to protect them from the risk of waterborne diseases, including Hepatitis A, following the Kakhovka dam attack in early June. 

"We are dedicated to supporting Ukraine’s Ministry of Health in taking measures to prevent possible disease outbreaks and protect the health of affected children and families in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions," said UNICEF Ukraine Representative Murat Sahin. “This vaccine helps protect from Hepatitis A, addressing one of the major waterborne health threats from flooding following the Kakhovka dam attack.”

Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection that can cause mild to severe illness. Its symptoms can include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-coloured urine and jaundice. Adults have signs and symptoms of illness more often than children. The severity of disease and fatal outcomes are higher in older age groups.

The disease is closely associated with unsafe water or food and inadequate sanitation. Epidemics related to contaminated food or water can erupt explosively and be prolonged, affecting communities for months.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated can be infected with the Hepatitis A virus. 

“Vaccination against Hepatitis A is a crucial component in prevention of this viral disease. The pathogen enters the human body through contaminated food or water. This vaccination is not mandatory in the immunisation schedule, but it is highly recommended both for children and adults,” said Ihor Kuzin, Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor. “Ukraine has received this vaccine as part of the cooperation between the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, and it will be distributed as needed given the existing risks in the affected areas.”

UNICEF, a trusted partner of Ukraine’s Health Ministry, has provided support through the procurement and delivery of Hepatitis A vaccines, made possible by funding from the Government of Japan. 

In 2022 and 2023, to support immunization in Ukraine, UNICEF procured over 2.89 million doses of vaccines (polio vaccine, oral polio vaccine, Hepatitis B, tetanus-diphtheria, diphtheria-tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, BCG for tuberculosis, pentavalent vaccine, rabies) at the request of the Ministry of Health and National Health Service of Ukraine. 

Media contacts

Oleksandra Burynska
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Ukraine

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