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Press Centre (2/2014)

Turkey completes polio vaccination campaign prompted by Syrian outbreak

OSMANİYE, Turkey – 2014 Turkey’s inoculation campaign to combat Syria’s polio outbreak has been successfully completed. Launched by the Turkish Republic’s Ministry of Health, in coordination with UNICEF, measures to prevent the spread of the disease to Turkey concluded after reaching 1.5 million children across the country. 

Family doctors and mobile teams conducted door-to-door operations to administer oral vaccinations to all children aged 0-5. 
The second round of the campaign, which ran from February 17, 2014 to February 23, 2014, targeted cities in Turkey’s southern regions not covered by the first phase. 

All children in 11 of the border towns and cities (Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Sanliurfa, Mardin, Sırnak, Adana, Kahramanmaras, Malatya, Adıyaman and Osmaniye) were included in the campaign. Syrian refugees aged five and under were also vaccinated in 70 additional cities.

Turkey’s last case of polio was seen in 1998 and the country certified as polio-free by the World Health Organization in 2002. The latest rounds of immunization were prompted by the polio outbreak in Syria’s Deir Azzour province in November 2013 and the large influx of Syrian refugees to Turkey.
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org