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Published On: Sun, Dec 9th, 2012

Despite violence and chaos, the vaccination campaign to immunize 2.5 million Syrian children moves on

Syria

Image/CIA

The vaccination campaign is underway in the Syrian Arab Republic to immunize some 2.5 million children under 5
against polio and measles, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) news release Thursday.

The aim of the campaign is to reach every child, vaccinating all children below the age of five against polio and 2 million children against measles.

The vaccines, plus doses of  infant paracetamol and multivitamin syrup, were provided by the Syrian Ministry of Heath and UNICEF.

An estimated 4000 health workers and volunteers are participating in the campaign taking place across 13 of the country’s 14 governorates from 26 November to 10 December. The governorate of Der El Zor was not included in the campaign as the majority of its residents have relocated to other areas in the country.

According to the WHO, due to escalations in the conflict, the national vaccination coverage for the first quarter of 2012 dropped from 95% to 80%, and it is expected to have dropped even further since then.

Challenges in implementing the national immunization program include difficulties in maintaining the cold chain (leading to destroyed vaccines) and reaching children in areas where access is limited due to blocked roads and security issues. Many vaccination /supply vehicles have been damaged or affected, resulting in critical shortages of transportation for the vaccines.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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