Press tour with journalists to Tursunzade district

WHO/Emanuelle Tacconi

The procedure of finger marking, Tursunzade District Hospital

The WHO Country Office and the UNICEF Country Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Republic of Tajikistan organized a press tour for journalists from television, web and news agencies on 16 June 2010 to learn about the vaccination process for the 4th round of the polio immunization campaign.

The journalists visited the City Health Center of Tursunzade district and one vaccination point in the nearby district close to Tursunzade to see the vaccination process.
“Each round we make house visits with the family nurses and warn the population, with some starting the vaccination rounds. The people living in this area are interested in having their children vaccinated. We also have mobile teams that go to families with newborns”, said the Doctor-in-Chief of Rural Health Centre “Chuzy”, Ms Mohira Muhiddinova.

Journalists also visited the City Health Center of Tursunzade district.

“The last 10 days of registration no cases of polio were observed because preventive vaccine is the most effective way to fight against polio. We hope that by 19 June we will cover more than 98% of our children”, noted Sanitary Doctor-in-Chief of Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Azam Mirzoev.  “Children under six years of age are at highest risk and primarily responsible for transmitting the polio virus in the community and for them, it is the last round of the polio immunization campaign.”

“I watched the work of medical personnel in the field, and it is encouraging that they are fulfilling all the recommendations that were offered to them, such as storing the vaccines, finger marking of vaccinated children and registration”, noted Dr Rebecca Martin, Technical officer of the Communicable Diseases Department of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. “WHO, UNICEF and key partners including the Agency for International Development (USAID), Rotary International, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and International Federation of Red Cross are actively involved in mobilization of the resources for provision of support in the conduction of the preparatory activities in Tajikistan.”

“As soon as the outbreak of poliomyelitis in Tajikistan occurred, USAID responded to it very quickly as one of the first, and we started to work in all five central Asian republics”, said Deputy Director of the Health and Education Department of USAID, Ms Bryn Sakagava. “Using funds and all necessary resources, we hope that every child will be vaccinated and protected from this disease. In order to prevent such outbreaks in the future, we must strengthen the entire health care system.”

The event concluded with a short press briefing for journalists held in one of the kindergartens of the area of Tursunzade district, where representatives of the Ministry of Health of  the Republic of Tajikistan, WHO, USAID and UNICEF answered questions about the vaccination process, monitoring, the immunization campaign against polio, as well as the need of receiving the vaccination and target group to be vaccinated.