Monday, 09 November 2015 03:00

Iraq completes round one of oral cholera vaccination campaign

BAGHDAD, 09 November 2015 - The Iraqi Government, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF), completed this week the first round of the oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign vaccinating 91% of the targeted 255 000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced Iraqis across 62 refugee and IDP camps in 13 governorates.

The vaccine was highly accepted during the first round of the campaign, and the turnout was very high. There were neither refusals nor adverse concerns raised regarding the vaccine.

Oral cholera vaccination campaign

The OCV campaign was first discussed and agreed by stakeholders on September 2015. This was followed by a planning and training sessions for Expanded Programme Immunization (EPI) managers at the governorate level in Baghdad on October 26-27. A training of 1302 vaccinators and 651 social mobilizers was conducted on October 28, in preparation for the first round mass vaccination campaign.

Shanchol™ vaccine was used for the campaign and its one of the WHO’s prequalified vaccine. To ensure herd immunity, two doses of OCV Shanchol™ vaccine with an interval of two to six weeks shall be administered in order to achieve the required protection among the high risk groups. The first round of the campaign began on October 31with an initial five-days and the second round is anticipated after six week on early December 2015. The administration of a second dose is crucial to extend the duration of protection for 5 years or more. The cholera vaccine was administered to all persons over one year of age who were living in the target camps.

Cholera vaccination is an additional preventive measure to supplement other cholera control measures, but not to replace the traditional priority cholera control measures.

“We need to intensify the health promotion and education activities to help communities protect themselves and their families from cholera and other communicable diseases.” said acting WHO Representative Altaf Musani.

Intensive social mobilization and advocacy campaigns were undertaken including the nationwide dissemination of one million WASH and health hygiene messages.

Iraq completes round one of oral cholera vaccination campaign

Messages were disseminated through electronic media, social media, mobile phones and mobile vans.

The campaign started in seven of the 13 governorates on October 31, followed by four on 2 November (Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Diyala), one on November 3 (Kirkuk) and one on November 4 (Anbar). Heavy rains, flooding, and insecurity have delayed the completion of the OCV mass vaccination campaign in most of the governorates in central and southern parts of Iraq.

The World Health Organization deployed technical officers to carry out the monitoring, evaluation and documentation of the best practices in the first introduction of the Oral Cholera Vaccine in Iraq. Technical staff from WHO, UNICEF and health cluster partners have been deployed to carry out the monitoring, evaluation and documentation of the best practices in the first introduction of the Oral Cholera Vaccine in Iraq. WHO, UNICEF and partners also facilitated the campaign logistics and preparation in selected locations to ensure that as many people as possible are protected.

 

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ajyal Sultany, Communications Officer | World Health Organization, Iraq
Country Office| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +964 7510 101 469
Ms. Rosane Lopes, Communications Officer| World Health Organization, Iraq
Country Office | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +964 7809 288 614

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO
Last modified on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:29

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