Damascus, SANA – A national 12-day anti-measles vaccination campaign for children under five continued Monday after it was launched Sunday by the Health Ministry, coinciding with a catch-up immunization schedule for children who missed shots during previous vaccination campaigns.
The campaign, which was organized in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), targets about 2,670,937 children.
Anti-measles vaccines will be given to children through mobile medical teams and at health centers and makeshift residential centers, which host families displaced from their home areas due to terrorist acts.
A total of 5916 health workers have been employed to do the job.
Children between 7 months and 1 years of age will be given Vitamin A besides the anti-measles vaccine, while children aged between 1 and 5 years will be given the MMR vaccine in addition to Vitamin A.
Health Minister Nizar Yazigi stressed the Ministry’s care to continue conducting such campaigns to immunize and protect children against the dangers of childhood diseases.
In 2014, 594 measles cases were registered in Syria, in addition to 5 rubella cases, according to the statistics of the Health Ministry.
Measles is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus. The virus lives in the mucus in the nose and throat of people with this infection. Physical contact, coughing and sneezing can spread the infection.
The most common symptoms of measles are high temperature (fever), sore eyes (conjunctivitis) and a runny nose usually occurs first. Small white spots usually develop inside the mouth a day or so later. These symptoms can persist for several days.
In Damascus, the campaign involves 8 health areas and targets around 30,000 children between seven months and a year in age through 38 health centers distributed in the province and 20 mobile medical teams to cover the temporary residential centers and kindergartens.
In Damascus Countryside, around 300,000 children are targeted by the anti-measles vaccination campaign through 127 health centers, 145 mobile teams and 840 health workers to guarantee that the vaccines are delivered to all areas in the province.
Meanwhile in Sweida, about 47,000 children will be vaccinated through 43 health centers, 9 mobile teams, 7 supervision teams and 8 vehicles to transport children from hard-to-access areas to the closest health center.
In the central province of Homs, 180,000 children are targeted by the campaign through the health centers and mobile teams which will vaccinate children in temporary residential centers, kindergartens and the residential complexes which do not have a health center.
In Daraa, the campaign is targeting the children in the province and in 25 villages of Quneitra province. The goal is to reach 112,743 children through 370 medical staffs and 66 health centers.
No mobile teams in Daraa and the vaccinations are available in the health centers and medical points only.
In Hama, about 236,067 children under 5 years are targeted by the campaign through 144 health centers and 8 medical points with focus on children in temporary accommodation centers, with the participation of 550 health workers.
Meanwhile in Deir Ezzor, the campaign targets around 263,000 children through 400 health workers, 63 health centers and 12 mobile teams in the all province.
In Quneitra, 46,000 girls and boys under five years are targeted by the campaign through 19 health centers in the province, Damascus and Damascus Countryside in addition to the temporary residential centers, with the participation of 200 health employees.
In Hasaka, around 190,000 children are targeted in the campaign through 60 health centers and 30 mobile teams.
In Aleppo, 296,000 children will take the vaccines through health centers and mobile teams with the participation of 573 health workers.
In Lattakia, 180,000 children under five years and the children under seven years who missed their vaccines are targeted by the campaign through 102 health centers and 5 health centers inside the temporary residential centers, in addition to mobile teams.
In Tartous, all children under five years are targeted by the campaign through health centers, medical points and mobile teams.