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A 56% decline

In under 5 mortality rate was recorded in the CEECIS region from 1990 to 2011.

New vaccine to save children’s lives in Uzbekistan

Print version
23 August 2016
5 5 Photos

Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015 pneumonia killed an estimated 922 000 children under the age of 5, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old.

Now children of Uzbekistan will be protected from this killing disease since pneumococcal vaccine was introduced into the National Calendar of Vaccination in November 2015. This vaccine also prevents other critical infections such as meningitis, febrile bacteremia, otitis media, sinusitis and bronchitis.

On August 19–20, national experts on immunization and pediatricians from all regions of Uzbekistan gathered in Tashkent to participate in the conference organized by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. They discuss implementation of the Extended Programme of Immunization (EPI) in the country.

"Immunization is a proven tool for combating infectious diseases that threaten life, and eliminating them," said Dr. Dilorom Tursunova, the EPI National Coordinator. "It is our task to cover all children in Uzbekistan with safe vaccination to ensure their well-being," she added.

UNICEF continues to provide assistance to the Ministry of Health in procurement of vaccines certified by WHO. Special attention is paid to maintaining the cold chain to guarantee quality of vaccines. So far 3,000 professionals and 300 teachers of the medical colleges have been trained according to WHO modules on safe immunization. They include several components such as immunization protocols, micro-planning, control of cold chain and monitoring. To support Government’s efforts in the most deprived regions of the country, UNICEF planned to introduce these modules in Karakalpakstan, Khorezn, Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions.

"Uzbekistan is among the pioneers in the region in introducing pneumococcal vaccine nationally. This will contribute to a reduction of child mortality and morbidity in Uzbekistan. By implementation of the Extended Programme of Immunization, all children in the country will be protected from several life-threatening childhood infections," said Svetlana Stefanet, Chief of Health Section of UNICEF in Uzbekistan.

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