UNICEF and WHO support national immunization campaign in Syria amid COVID-19 pandemic

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UNICEF and WHO support national immunization campaign in Syria amid COVID-19 pandemic
Damascus, 29 June 2020 – With an aim to maintain vital routine immunization services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a national immunization campaign supported by WHO and UNICEF has concluded across Syria. During the 5-day campaign, implemented by the Syrian Ministry of Health, health workers checked the vaccination status of more than 900 000 children and vaccinated more than 210 100 children to ensure they are caught up with the routine immunization schedule.

Over 1000 health centres, 545 mobile teams, 666 temporary vaccination posts and more than 8000 health workers were mobilized for the campaign. In-line with WHO global guidelines, health workers were trained on preventative and precautionary measures, including disinfection, hygiene protocols and overcrowding prevention. In addition, they were provided with personal protection equipment for their safety and that of children and caregivers during the immunization campaign.

“No child should miss out on their vaccinations, now more than ever” says Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Syria, “These are difficult times, parents may feel overwhelmed with worries. Our message to them is clear: make sure your kids receive their routine immunizations to avoid vaccine-preventable diseases. When vaccination coverage goes down, more outbreaks will occur, including of life-threatening diseases like measles and polio.”…

WHO and UNICEF noted in a joint health brief published this month that health care disruptions due to COVID-19 could have a devastating impact on child mortality in the Middle East and North Africa. The full and safe resumption of immunization campaigns as well as nutrition services, while following strict precautionary measures for infection prevention, are key to helping tens of thousands of children reach their fifth year of age in good health.