9 August 2018

Ethiopia Launches Integrated Measles, Vitamin a, and Deworming Campaign

ADDIS ABAB- Ministry of Health has launched a preventive measles vaccination campaign to immunize 928,000 children aged six months to 15 years among the internally displaced and host communities in Gedeo Zone of the SNNPR Tuesday.

In addition to the campaign, deworming will involve managing vitamin A to children aged six months to five years and of children aged two to five years.

Plans are in progress for alike campaign targeting 516 000 children in West Guji Zone of Oromia Region.

Around one million internal displaced persons are living in Gedeo and West Guji zones in schools and unfinished buildings. And the existing camps are crowded with limited basic needs.

And there is lack of hygiene and sanitation. This is cause to the spreads of communicable diseases. Children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are at high risk of malnutrition.

"Conducting vaccination campaigns for the displaced and host communities are a key to preventing an outbreak of infectious diseases such as measles. Malnutrition also needs to be addressed, which is why this campaign is integrated with vitamin a distribution and deworming for young children," Dr Akpaka Kalu, WHO Representative in Ethiopia, said._

While the balance of 900 000 doses is being bought by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF is procuring 750 000 doses of the measles vaccine.

"In an emergency of this nature, it is often the children who endure the greatest suffering," said UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia Gillian Mellsop. "In these very difficult times for the children of Gedeo and West Guji zones, it is critical that we are present, together with the government and other humanitarian partners, to provide vaccination and other much-needed lifesaving support to children and women."

Technical experts are on the ground to support the immunization campaign, monitor the screening and treatment of children with malnutrition, and alleviate violence against women and children.

WHO is providing technical and operational support including micro-planning for the campaign, training of supervisors and facilitators, coordination, logistics, and monitoring and supervision of the quality of campaign.

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