Yemen | Photo essays | Nationwide measles and rubella immunization campaign reaches 11.6 million children in Yemen

Nationwide measles and rubella immunization campaign reaches 11.6 million children in Yemen

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21 February 2019 – In collaboration with local health authorities, WHO and UNICEF have concluded a nationwide measles and rubella vaccination campaign in Yemen reaching more than 11.6 million (90%) children aged 6 months–16 years across the country.

WHO, with the support of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, contributed to the campaign through the provision of vaccines, fuel, training, deployment of health workers and supervisors, as well as raising awareness among communities about ways to protect themselves against these diseases.

Dhamar, Mareb and Sana’a governorates have reported over 100% coverage due to a large number of internally displaced persons coming from other governorates. The campaign continued for an additional 3 days in districts where low coverage was reported.

Despite the challenging conditions, WHO teams and health workers were able to reach high-risk areas, IDP camps and marginalized communities with awareness-raising activities and vaccination.

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Raising awareness among children about the importance of vaccines is key to helping eliminate the spread of diseases. In Aden, a WHO team scaled up their efforts to educate children on the campaign and the importance of being vaccinated.

Photo: WHO

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During the measles and rubella campaign, WHO was keen to reach remote areas where IDPs are hosted to raise awareness and vaccinate them against measles and rubella given their living conditions which put them under high risk of infection from life-threatening diseases.

Photo: WHO

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Getting children immunized against life-threatening disease is fundamental to protecting their lives. A child in one of Sana'a's schools welcomes her vaccine with a smile.

Photo: Muneerah Al Mahdli/WHO

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Children in the Mukalla district of Hadramout are made aware of the benefits of getting vaccinated against measles and rubella. Measles/rubella coverage in Mukalla reached 96% of the targeted population.

Photo: WHO

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Over the last week, a total of 11.6 million children in Yemen received the vaccine against measles and rubella.

Photo: Muneerah Al Mahdli/WHO

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Abdulmalik came to the health facility to have his 5 children vaccinated against measles during the campaign conducted by WHO, UNICEF and health authorities in Yemen. Noor, Ebrahim, Rema, Ahmed and Ammar are aged between 5 and 15. “I want to ensure that all my kids are protected against life-threatening diseases,” says Abdulmalik.

Photo: Hanan Ishaq/WHO

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In coordination with local authorities and UNICEF, WHO launched this nationwide campaign in Yemen which aimed to target more than 12.5 million children.

Photo: WHO

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Mohammed, Ahmed and Abdulaziz are best friends. They came together to the health centre to get vaccinated against measles during the campaign and were happy to have received their vaccines for protection against this sometimes fatal disease.

Photo: Hanan Ishaq/WHO

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Khulood Ahmed and Waheba Abdulla are hardworking nurses participating in the campaign. “By the third day, we had vaccinated 300 children,” says Khulood.

Photo: Hanan Ishaq/WHO

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Amal, 8 years old, has overcome her fear of needles and realized that the minor discomfort of a simple needle prick cannot be compared to the tragedy of losing one’s sight as a result of measles.

Photo: WHO