New nationwide polio vaccination campaign launched, Health Minister.. keenness to immunize children against childhood diseases, particularly polio

Provinces, SANA- Health Ministry, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), launched Sunday a new polio vaccination campaign for all children under five years.

The campaign, launched in medical centers, temporary residential centers and mobile teams in all areas in the provinces, is scheduled to last till the end of the week.

Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi  on Monday visited al-Ghizlanieh Health Center where the polio vaccination campaign is underway, the minister underscores keenness to immunize children against childhood diseases, particularly polio, in order to preserve their health.

A number of citizens in Ghizlanieh Health Center expressed appreciation for the ministry’s efforts to deliver safe vaccines to children in all Syrian areas.

In the central province of Homs, the campaign targets 190,000 children including children residing in temporary residential centers through health centers and medical teams with the participation of 130 volunteers from the Revolutionary Youth Union in the mobile teams and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) who will help in delivering the vaccines to the eastern parts of the province.

In Hama, the campaign is targeting around 308,000 children from the province and the arrivals from other provinces and children residing in temporary centers, with 147 health centers, 1120 health workers in healthcare centers and volunteers from community organizations and charities.

About 14 medical points and 305 mobile teams had been prepared to cover far areas that do not have healthcare centers or suffer from security problems to guarantee that all children receive the vaccine.
Meanwhile, in the southern province of Sweida, the campaign targets 50,000 children through 90 health centers and 34 mobile teams distributed in all areas of the province.

In Damascus, around 300,000 children are targeted by the campaign through 39 health centers and 162 mobile teams to provide vaccines for around 70% of the targeted children.

In Damascus Countryside, the campaign is targeting 394,327 children, with 109 constant health centers, 23 temporary health centers, 330 mobile teams, 1212 health workers and 89 vehicles.

In Hasaka, around 247,000 children are targeted in the campaign through 60 health centers and 35 mobile teams distributed in the countryside and some areas in the cities of the province.

In the southern province of Daraa, the campaign is targeting 125,260 children through 602 health workers who are distributed on 66 health centers and mobile teams in addition to the participation of two trained teams and two mobile clinics from the SARC branch and the charity and social services associations to provide children in temporary residential centers with vaccines, particularly in overcrowded areas and neighborhoods.

In Quneitra, the campaign targets more than 49,000 children through 22 health centers, 11 temporary medical centers in Quneitra and the refugees’ concentrations in Damascus and Damascus Countryside with the participation of 200 medical staff, 120 of them are in mobile teams.

In the coastal province of Tartous, around 130,000 children from the province and the arrivals from other provinces are targeted by this campaign through 130 health centers, 32 medical points.

In Lattakia, around 179,000 children are targeted by the campaign, with 115 health centers and 45 mobile teams.

In Aleppo, the campaign targets more than 244,000 children in Aleppo and its countryside with the participation of 633 health workers, 260 volunteers and 54 mobile teams.

The campaign comes as a part of a series of campaigns launched by the Ministry of Health since 2013 when the first case of polio appeared after 14 years of declaring Syria a state free of polio.

After new cases of polio were detected in Syria, the Ministry of Health adopted strategic and tight measures to curb the spread of the disease through organizing monthly vaccination campaigns as no polio cases have been reported since January 2014.

Last March, the Health Ministry conducted a five-day national vaccination campaign for children under five, distributing as many as three million vaccine doses.

R. J/Manar al-Frieh/Manal/ Barry

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