WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

UN launching measles and polio vaccines in Liberia

UN launching measles and polio vaccines in Liberia. | Courtesy of un.org
Agencies and partners with the United Nations recently announced that there will be a massive campaign to immunize over 600,000 children for measles and polio in Liberia, which is an important part of reinstating health care now that Ebola rates have decreased.

The campaign was originally scheduled for 2014; due to the Ebola crisis, the campaign was postponed.

During the Ebola crisis, routine vaccinations were not administered because of a lack of resources. Now that the number of Ebola cases has fallen so drastically in recent weeks, health professionals will vaccinate children against measles and polio in an effort to restore regular immunizations in West Africa.

“On 9 May, 42 days will have elapsed since the burial of the last confirmed case and the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease will be declared over in [Liberia],” The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a recent update about the Ebola crisis.

A joint press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the WHO, the UN Children’s Fund, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia, outlines the goals of the campaign. The representatives estimate that 603,000 children will be vaccinated against measles, and more than 683,000 children will be vaccinated against polio.

“The polio vaccines will be given to children aged up to 59 months, and the measles vaccine to children between the ages of six and 59 months,” said the release. “Children aged 12-59 months will also receive deworming medicine.”

“A major social mobilization effort has been deployed to convince communities of the need to have their children vaccinated and to explain the measures being taken to minimize any risk of infection,” the press release said.

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