MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp center of UNICEF immunization campaign

A Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan is now hosting a mass immunization campaign led by UNICEF.

The Za'atari camp, home to over 100,000 Syrians, is the first stop in UNICEF's plan to vaccinate thousands of children and young adults across northern Jordan before they fall victim to easily prevented diseases.

UNICEF's goal is to immunize 90,000 people against measles. It also plans to give 24,000 children between the ages of 6 to 59 months polio drops and to distribute 22,000 vitamin A capsules to children.

"It is crucial that this campaign works, as measles is an extremely contagious disease and its potential spread could be devastating amongst people already living in vulnerable conditions," UNICEF Representative Dominique Hyde said.

UNICEF is receiving help from Jordan's Ministry of Health, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the World Health Organization and other organizations and partners.

The call for this campaign came after reports of measles in Jordan and nearby Iraq.

"This campaign today is very important, because we don't really know the coverage of measles immunization in the camp," Dr. Carine Boyce, UNICEF health specialist, said. "We have noticed cases across the region, so that's why we really need to do this campaign now."