The representatives of the Health Ministry of Azerbaijan, the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation, United NationвЂ™s Children Fund (UNICEF) and the European Regional Bureau of the World Health Organization (WHO) signed on 14 July a Memorandum of Understanding on realization of the National Immunization Campaign in the country. The document has been signed by the Health Minister Ali Insanov and the representatives of the donor organizations in Azerbaijan.
The campaign envisions carrying out vaccination against measles and rubella and will target the 7-23 age group nationwide and the 23-29 age group in the capital city Baku. The campaign will totally cover over 3 million residents of the country.
The campaign will be carried out under the WHO program on elimination of measles and rubella and prevention the rubella syndrome, adopted in 2002. International organizations вЂ" donors plan to allocate for realizations of national campaigns in Azerbaijan 3 million USD.
Azerbaijan is the first country in the region where this campaign will be carried out. According to the WHO statistics, 30-40 million children catch measles every year. In 2003 about 530,000 died from the disease, often from secondary complications.
The Ministry of Health will be playing the lead role and is responsible for the campaign planning, coordination and monitoring.
UNICEF and Vishnevskaya - Rostropovitch Foundation will provide technical support in planning, supply procurement, cold chain maintenance and communication.