FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Ebola-hit countries launch immunization drives

For the first time since the start of the Ebola outbreak, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are conducting nationwide immunization campaigns aimed at vaccinating more than 3 million children against preventable but potentially deadly diseases.

The three countries most affected by Ebola will immunize children against diseases like measles and polio in UNICEF-supported campaigns involving the provision of vaccines and the training and deployment of thousands of immunization teams.

“While the effort to get to zero cases of Ebola continues, it’s critical that basic health services are restored,” UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa Manuel Fontaine said. “Stepping up immunization programs that were disrupted by the epidemic will save lives and prevent a reversal of the health gains that were made in these countries before the outbreak.”

On April 18, a nationwide measles campaign was launched in Guinea to vaccinate 1.3 million children aged 6 months to 9 years old.

Today, a mother and child health week begins in Sierra Leone with the provision of Vitamin A, deworming pills, and screening for malnutrition. In May, an immunization drive for 1.5 million children under 5 years old will protect against measles and polio.

In Liberia, a campaign to provide measles and polio vaccinations to over 700,000 children under 5 is planned for May 8 to 14.

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