Two United Nations agencies are backing a two-week nationwide campaign by health authorities in Tajikistan to immunize an estimated 2.5 million children in the mountainous, landlocked Central Asian country against measles and rubella.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are helping health officials conduct the campaign, which targets all children between the ages of one and 14 and is scheduled to conclude this week.
Vaccinations are being carried out at health centres in both cities and rural areas, while mobile teams are also visiting schools and kindergartens.
The campaign is taking place as UN aid agencies warn that an appeal launched earlier this year to help Tajikistan recover from the destruction wrought by spring floods and mudslides remains seriously under-funded.
The appeal, launched by the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in August, has so far attracted $1.2 million, or only about 16 per cent of the $7.7 million.
At least 26 people died and more than 3,000 others were displaced by the floods and mudflows, which struck 40 districts of Tajikistan. Some 2,000 houses, hospitals, schools and other buildings have been abandoned because of severe damage.