UNICEF-WHO Joint news note: Children in typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, receive vaccines against measles, polio
TACLOBAN/MANILA, Philippines, 26 November 2013 – Children in Tacloban – the city hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan – were today vaccinated against measles and polio in the first phase of a mass campaign by the Government of the Philippines with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners. They also received Vitamin A supplements to help improve their immunity against infections.
Over 30,000 children are expected to be reached by the campaign which is taking place at fixed sites in evacuation centres and in communities using mobile health teams.
The vaccination drive in Tacloban is the first phase of a campaign targeting children under five years old in all the typhoon-affected areas. Fifteen teams (10 foreign and 5 national) including volunteers from the Department of Health, the Philippines Red Cross and other non-governmental organisations, were in locations across Tacloban giving vaccines today. The first to receive them were children in 20 evacuation centres – such as San Jose Elementary School, where more than 300 families currently live in conditions that can heighten the risk of infectious diseases…
…At the government’s request, UNICEF purchased over US$2 million worth of vaccines to replenish in-country stocks now being used for the campaign. In addition, UNICEF and WHO are helping to re-establish the broken cold chain, which is critical in keeping vaccines at the right temperature…