Health ministry launches Sunday week-long polio vaccination campaign

Damascus, (SANA) The Health Ministry is set to launch on Sunday a nationwide polio immunization campaign with the aim to make Syria polio-free as it once was.

The campaign lasts until June 19 and targets children under five of age to have them immunized against polio.

Assistant Health Minister Dr. Ossama Summak, during a scientific symposium that the Health Ministry organized on Thursday on the second stage of polio immunization campaigns, stressed the importance of synchronizing efforts to ensure that every child is immunized against polio.

“The healthcare system in Syria is holding well and is still potent and capable of dealing with whatever needs that might arise,” he added.

Summak emphasized the necessity of tipping off any suspect polio cases for identifying the polio-afflicted areas. “Cases have so far been discovered in areas where armed terrorist groups play out their terrorist acts and deny the vaccination teams access to children,” he pointed out.


Chris Maher, who is coordinating the regional polio response for the WHO, urged more regional and international efforts for combating polio.

As he applauded Syria’s “excellent” cooperation with international health organizations, Maher considered a reduction in the number of cases in Syria last year a “propitious indication” for having the disease wiped out.

“The Syrian government’s effective response and cooperation with the World Health Organisation has considerably helped prevent Pakistani-origin polio cases from morphing into an epidemic,” he said.

The Health Ministry, in collaboration with WHO, has launched seven polio immunization campaigns in all provinces between October 2013 and May 2014, with 4 new campaigns being planned for June, August, October and November.

M. Ismael

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