Yemen launches national measles, rubella and polio campaign
“Keeping Yemen polio free is a major priority for WHO and its partners over the past four years and we are doing everything we can to maintain this great achievement; this campaign is essential and critical to maintain a polio free status in Yemen as well as minimize the risk of any potential importation of the polio virus in the country during the current crisis,” Dr. Ahmed Shadoul, WHO representative to Yemen, said.
The campaign, which is to last for five days, has received support from UNICEF, WHO and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).
“Measles and rubella campaign is equally much needed to prevent an occurrence of any fatal outbreaks; increasing the immunity of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community children less than 15 years, we will minimize their risk and exposure to measles which of late started showing rising trends,” Shadoul said.
The goal of the campaign is to administer polio vaccines to an estimated 5,657,620 children who are five years old or younger. The healthcare workers also aim to administer measles and rubella vaccines to approximately 1.8 million children who are between the ages of six months and 15 years old.
“We call for all conflicting parties to allow vaccinators, health teams and volunteers to do their humanitarian jobs and make it easy for them to reach targeted areas to ensure that every child is vaccinated against these fatal diseases,” Dr. Osama Mere, the immunization and polio officer for WHO Yemen, said. “The threat of diseases outbreak is imminent and unless effective immunization activities are conducted, polio might return to Yemen and measles could spread widely and rapidly.”