A national measles immunisation campaign organised by the Ministry of Health is on track to achieve its goal of eliminating the virus by 2012, according to information presented at a launch of the second phase of the project Siem Reap on Wednesday.
At the launch Eng Huot, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said he was satisfied with the results of the first phase of the campaign, which ran from February 2-14.
“Phase one has already achieved excellent results in nine provinces, with over 547,000 children between 9 and 59 months of age receiving measles vaccinations,” he said.
“We learned many important lessons, including the need for vaccination teams and supervisors to go house to house to ensure no children are missed, and the benefits of greater community participation through village health support.”
He said the Ministry of Health aims to vaccinate more than 1,500,000 children during 2011 to meet the government’s goal of eliminating the illness.
“The Ministry of Health, along with 35 other countries, has committed to achieving the elimination of measles by 2012. Measles continues to cause significant death and disability worldwide, especially in young infants and children, despite an effective and safe vaccine that prevents the infection which has been available for many years now.”
Between now and the end of March, the Ministry of Health will dispatch vaccine teams throughout the country to establish 18,000 clinics to provide vaccination against measles and also dispense oral polio vaccines, worming tablets and Vitamin A supplements to children.
Sann Chan Soeung, deputy director general at the Ministry of Health, said the campaign staged on March 2 in Siem Reap and will continue until March 13, before moving to Prey Veng and Kampong Cham later in the month.
Additional funding for the immunisation programme has been provided to the Ministry of Health by the government of Japan, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Latter-day Saint Charities and the World Bank’s Second Health Sector Support Program.