Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:00

A Doorstep to a Tent Campaign for Iraqi Children’s Vaccination Against Polio Ends Today

BAGHDAD, 27 December 2018 – The Ministry of Health in coordination with the Kurdistan Region Ministry of Health and the support of WHO, launched on Sunday 23rd December 2018 a five-day campaign to immunize Iraq’s children against polio.

The campaign aimed at reaching about 5.9 Million children under the age of five in 145 health districts including those living in Iraq’s most vulnerable newly retaken areas of Anbar, Kirkuk, and Ninewa governorates, in addition to poor areas, displaced and refugee children living in camps. The campaign is part of the vaccination strategy in response to strengthening the immunity profile against polio. Vaccination teams were going house to house and tent to tent to ensure that all targeted children are covered; visited slums; internally displaced people and refugee camps and settlements; and other marginalized communities to promote vaccination.

Two subnational vaccination rounds against polio have already been successfully implemented this year, in March and April, in addition to three targeted campaigns against polio in newly retaken districts. Efforts were being made to achieve uniformly high quality vaccination at both district and sub-district levels.

“WHO is supporting the operational costs of the nationwide campaign which include incentives for vaccination teams, transportation, finger marking and independent monitoring. WHO also provides technical surge support to ministries of health at federal, regional and sub-national levels, prioritizing support to high-risk governorates.” said Dr. Adham Rashad Ismail, WHO Representative in Iraq.

It was the only national polio campaign scheduled in Iraq for this year, and came after 20 months from the last Polio NID which took place in April 2017. Dr. Mutaz Abbas, Head of Polio Campaign at MOH said: “During the campaign, more than 25,000 trained vaccinators would travel from house to house to administer oral polio vaccine, free-of-charge to children. 2864 supervisors of different levels (team, district, provincial and central) would participate in the campaign.” Dr. Abbas stressed that all children under five should be vaccinated against polio, regardless of previous vaccination history.

Since April 2014, no new polio cases have been reported in Iraq thanks to the government’s strong commitment and frontline health workers’ dedication. There has been significant improvement in overall population immunity in Iraq due to efforts made by the Ministry of Health Iraq, Ministry of Health KRG and Departments of Health. The campaign helped to sustain population immunity gains as vaccination is the most cost effective public health intervention and its immediate beneficiaries, children and mothers, gain a great deal from its benefits.

For more information, please contact:
World Health Organization, Iraq Country Office

Ms. G. AlMayahi, Communications Officer, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel: +964 7827 886 765

Ms. Pauline Ajello, Communications Officer, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel: +964 7510 101 460

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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