Mass Vaccinations

Title: Afghanistan: Large Increases In Measles Prompt Nationwide Measles Vaccination Campaign
November 2, 2012
Global Dispatch

Abstract: A reduction in immunization coverage in recent years in Afghanistan has resulted in sharp increases in the vaccine preventable disease, measles in the strife-torn country, according to an Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), the humanitarian news and analysis service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report Nov. 1.

The report states since the start of the last Afghan winter, in November 2011, 9,000 measles cases were reported across almost every province in the country, as compared to 3,000 cases over the same period the year before.

In addition, more than 300 children have died from the viral, respiratory disease during to this period.

Vaccination coverage in Afghanistan has been a challenge due to many factors – rising insecurity, decreased access, difficult terrain and harsh winters that cut off thousands of villages, to name a few.

“Day by day, the security situation becomes worse and our access to the people for providing health services becomes more limited,” said Sayed Zubair Sadat, with the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

Experts say nearly 30 percent of the population has no or very poor access to primary health care, including immunization, and the percentage is estimated to be as high as 70 percent in areas of conflict in the south.

In an effort to get Afghanis vaccinated, the World Health Organization-Afghanistan will join  the Afghanistan Ministry of Health National Immunization Programme to launch a second nationwide measles vaccination campaign in November.

This campaign will target 18 provinces and reach approximately 5 million children (nine months–10 years); thus ensuring a country-wide outreach: last July, more than 6 million received measles vaccine in the other 16 provinces (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Sudan To Vaccinate 2.4 Million Against Darfur Yellow Fever Outbreak
November 19, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: The United Nations says that Sudan has launched a massive vaccination campaign to immunize 2.4 million people against an outbreak of yellow fever in the restive region of Darfur.

The Monday statement from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says Khartoum's Health Ministry received an initial shipment of 800,000 doses of vaccine on Friday.

It reported 116 deaths out of 459 suspected cases as of Saturday since the outbreak began in September.

Health experts say Darfur's heavy rainy season this year created additional breeding sites for the disease-carrying mosquitos.

Sudan's government has been battling rebel groups in remote Darfur since 2003. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and health care services are not available to many residents as a result of the turmoil (Fox News, 2012).