UN organizations help Myanmar with polio eradication campaign

09:58, May 12, 2011      

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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) are helping Myanmar with a polio eradication campaign in which 2.9 million children under five will be vaccinated, a WHO official told a press briefing here Wednesday.

Dr. Vinod Bura, WHO medical officer of extended program of immunization, said the UNICEF and WHO are working in close partnership with Myanmar's Department of Health and local non- governmental organizations to organize the national immunization day activities.

The campaign will be carried out in 126 townships of nine regions and states bordering central Mandalay region with two synchronized rounds -- the first from May 14 to 15 and the second from June 11 to 12.

"Our aim is to reach every child," said Dr MarinusGotink, chief of Young Child Survival and Development Program of UNICEF.

According to the figures released by the UNICEF, Myanmar was in fact free from polio from 2000 to early 2006. However, the virus was found again in Pyi Oo Lwin township in May 2006, Yangon, Kayan, Hpa-an, Phyu and Chaungzon townships in 2007.

In addition, wild polio virus was discovered in Maungtaw township in western Rakhine state later due to weak coverage of polio vaccination, which the report said was the reason of resuming polio vaccination.

After the polio-free period from December 2007 to November 2010, polio virus was found again in Pyasi rural area in Yamethin district in December 2010, immediately forcing over 10,000 children from the Pyasi village and its surrounding villages to receive polio vaccine.

In 2010, a total of 414 Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) patients were found in the country.

Source: Xinhua
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