ADDIS ABABA, May 4 (Xinhua) -- An integrated measles supplementary immunization activity has successfully targeted over 830,000 children in Ethiopia's Tigray Region, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
In a statement issued Thursday, the WHO said the Tigray Regional Health Bureau collaborated with WHO Ethiopia, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), other UN agencies and partners to immunize over 830,000 children aged 6-59 months from March 27 to April 7.
It said the integrated Measles Supplementary Immunization Activity (SIA) was successfully carried out in 76 out of 93 districts, most of which were previously inaccessible.
The SIA campaign included routine immunization for previously unvaccinated and under-immunized children under two years old, it said.
The support also included the provision of Vitamin A for children aged 6-59 months, deworming for children aged 24-59 months, and acute malnutrition screening for children under five years old and pregnant or lactating mothers, it said.
According to the WHO, the campaign also vaccinated mothers and caretakers against COVID-19.
The campaign was also said to be particularly crucial in areas where routine immunization and essential childhood health services were disrupted due to the conflicts.
Nonhlanhla Dlamini, the acting representative to WHO Ethiopia, emphasized that WHO Ethiopia would continue supporting the health bureaus to restore routine and supplemental immunization coverage, thereby curbing vaccine-preventable mortality.
The main objective of the SIA is said to mitigate the risk of measles outbreaks and prevent preventable diseases' morbidity and mortality.
The WHO said the campaign significantly contributed to narrowing the immunization gap in the region that was created due to the two-year-long conflict in northern Ethiopia and compounded by logistics restrictions. ■