SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Vaccination workers support Iraq against polio and cholera

Vaccination workers support Iraq against polio and cholera. | Courtesy of biology.usf.edu
Exactly 12,703 vaccination teams have united in a nationwide campaign in Iraq to vaccinate children against polio and to fight against the spread of cholera.

The campaign ended on Oct. 11, 2015, after the workers vaccinated an estimated 5.8 million children living in Iraq. The campaign was extended by two days, according to a recommendation from the Ministry of Health. The campaign lasted for a total of seven days under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WHO.

“WHO is supporting the campaign through a provision of technical expertise at national, regional, and sub-national levels in high risk areas,” Altaf Musani, acting WHO representative in Iraq, said. “Our support also includes the financial assistance for polio campaign workers and finger-markers as well as conducting surveillance activities, which is the only scientific tool to prove that polio is constrained in Iraq.”

The campaign also involved education and information about the best ways to detect, prevent and also treat cholera. Approximately 1.5 million households in Iraq received the information.

“UNICEF and partners have taken an innovative approach to the double threat of disease facing children and families in Iraq,” Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s representative in Iraq, said. “In the context of mass displacement and continuing violence, the humanitarian community has succeeded in administering 36 million doses of oral polio vaccine, doubling the country’s cold chain capacity. Converging existing activities can help the very limited resources make a greater impact, and ultimately save more lives.”

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