UNICEF: Lao Launches Massive Measles Immunization Campaign

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You're watching UNICEF television. It’s a place of Buddhist worship on normal days. But -- as Khaming Padun...
You're watching UNICEF television. It’s a place of Buddhist worship on normal days. But -- as Khaming Padungsee and her friend are aware -- the temple in their village just north of Vientiane is today being put to another use. Mothers and their young children have been arriving here since early morning, alerted by advertisements on television and radio about one of the most important immunization campaigns this country has seen. Mrs Padungsee's 11 month old son, Tanva is first registered….. Then he’s given Vitamin A drops followed by de-worming tablets - both essential for the health of young children, and an integral part of this nationwide immunization campaign. Protection against measles is the most significant benefit - measles kills more children than any other preventable disease. By mid-morning nearly half the 560 children registered in the village have already been vaccinated, and staff from the district health office say things are going well. Banners and publicity have played their part in generating support for this campaign… But even more crucial, perhaps, has been the high-level political commitment that was on display at the campaign's ceremonial launch in Vientiane. As provider of more than 2 million doses of measles vaccine, UNICEF along with WHO have been closely involved in ensuring the campaign achieves its objectives. If it does, then not only will Lao be on target to meet its goal of eliminating measles by 2012. But in addition, the system of routine immunization which is so vital for Lao children’s long-term health will have been strengthened as well.
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