Syria continues to launch successive anti-polio vaccination campaigns

Provinces, SANA- Health Ministry works on launching successive anti-polio vaccination campaigns across Syria to enhance the immunity of the children as the vaccinations are bought from major international companies with high qualities and competence.

Director of the Healthcare Department at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ahmad Abboud said that the Ministry decided to launch successive anti-polio campaigns after the appearance of new cases of polio since the beginning of the crisis in Syria.

Abboud indicated that the appearance of the disease in the northeastern areas was due to the lack of the vaccinations there where the armed terrorist organizations prevent the vaccination campaigns from reaching some areas.

He affirmed that the disease entered Syria through terrorists coming from Pakistan as 35 cases were registered in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Idleb and Hasaka and in January, 2014 a case was registered in Salamyia Badia “desert” in the central Hama province.

Ministry of Health has adopted tight measures to curb the disease as many national anti-polio campaigns were launched in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 as the coverage ratios of the campaigns reached about 95 percent according to the estimations and data of nongovernmental bodies.

Health Ministry, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), launched last Sunday a new polio vaccination campaign for all children under five years all over the country.

The campaign is the 16th of its kind to be held in Syria since 2013 with the aim to have Syria freed of polio.

The new national campaign targets about 3 million children under five regardless of their previous vaccines. The vaccines are given free of charge and are of high quality matching WHO standards and 9316 health workers, 863 vehicles and 1332 mobile teams are engaged in the campaign.

Health Minister Nizar Yazigi asserted that the Ministry has taken all required procedures to make the campaign a success which will last for a week to ensure vaccinating all the targeted children.

As for the difficult-to-reach areas, the Minister said the ministry is cooperating with the WHO, the UNICEF, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to deliver vaccines to all those areas.

Yazigi stressed that no new cases of polio have been detected in Syria since January 21st of 2014.

The latest national anti-polio vaccination campaign was conducted on May 31st and lasted for five days and covered health centers, makeshift residential centers and through mobile teams in different provinces.

R.J/Barry