UN and partners immunize 1.2 million children in West Bank and Gaza

6 May 2005

Some 1.2 million children in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are receiving inoculations against three common childhood diseases – measles, mumps and rubella over the next few weeks, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

"There have been several reported cases of mumps and rubella among school aged children and university students in various locations in the West Bank and there is a high risk that mumps could easily spread among school children. All children must be protected against measles – one of the most contagious diseases as well," UNICEF said at the start of the campaign yesterday.

In 15 districts of the West Bank and Gaza dozens of school immunization teams will be assisted by other workers in health facilities and mobile health teams. The campaign is led by the Palestinian Authority's health, education and higher education ministries, UNICEF, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) and other UN agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"An outstanding joint effort by many actors backed by a large scale social mobilization campaign using radio, television, mosques and printed material will help in realizing one of the largest public health campaigns ever implemented in the occupied Palestinian territory," UNICEF's Dan Rohrmann said.


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