National Vaccination Campaign Targeting 1.6 Million Children

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Health Ministry yesterday  launched a national vaccination campaign against measles and polio in the health centers and temporary residence that will continue until  November 21st..

Minister of Health Dr. SaadNaev stressed , during his  tour on Kudsia suburb health center  and  temporary accommodation centers  that the  campaign is targeting 1.6 million  children in health centers and medical teams distributed all over the country 's provinces.

The minister pointed out that the campaign in temporary accommodation  centers targeted  children from one year old to  under 15 year- s old with  MMR vaccine  for  measles, rubella , mumps and vitamin A and children from the age of one day-to under five years  with oral paralysis vaccine  while at health centers, children from one day old -to- under  five years are given  oral polio vaccine , regardless of previous doses and children from year old to pre-schooling  age  are immunized by MMR vaccine and vitamin A .

The Minister of Health pointed out  that " the ministry imported  vaccines from best international companies and offered it free  for all children , at costs that  exceed billions  Syrian pounds , annually .

For her  part, UNICEF 's Deputy Resident Representative in Damascus HamidaRamadanistressed  that the organization seeks to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health and other partners to reach  and immunize every  Syrian child, especially under the current circumstances , where some families find it difficult to access medical services.

Dr. Tariq Abdul-Rahman of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO)  in Cairo noted that  the good cooperation between the Ministry of Health and international organizations will contribute to the success of the campaign, but "the concern comes from the possibility of lack of access to all areas under the current difficult circumstances ."

Abdul-Rahman said that the importance of the campaign comes from the timing , as a result of current circumstances,  Syria is  experiencing a decline in the percentage of children immunized and therefore , efforts should be concerted to raise the  percentage  of immunized children  again.

Last Sunday, the  Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and  UNICEF launched a vaccination campaign in the country 's schools against measles, rubella , mumps , targeting 800 thousand children from sixth grade class  to the ninth , which will last until the end of the first schooling semester.

In Homs, director of health care department  Dr. Abdul MomenQashlaq  said that the  " campaign is expected  to include 180 thousand children under the age of five against polio and 130 thousand children against measles , rubella, mumps ," pointing out that he coordinated  with the Red Crescent branch in Homs to deliver the vaccine to unsafe areas , so as to ensure that all children are vaccinated .

Meantime, Aleppo Health Directorate Aleppo started yesterday the national vaccination campaign against measles and polio in the health and temporary accommodation centers that are expected to target about  734.749 children, according  to director Dr. Waddah Hussein.

Simultaneously, Sweida Health Directorate launched   yesterday the national vaccination campaign against measles and polio , targeting  44 thousand children under the age of five in addition to 6 thousand children under the age of five years in temporary accommodation centers.

T. Fateh