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Press Releases 2010

United States Government Funds $250,000 To Fight Polio

June 1, 2010
“Working together in the current polio campaign we can make sure that each child is immunized and thus protect them from polio,” said Necia Quast (U.S. Embassy Dushanbe)

Polio vaccination campaign in Lola kindergarten, Hissor District, Tajikistan, June 1, 2010.

Hissor District, Tajikistan: In celebration of International Children's Day, Charge d'Affaires Necia Quast visited the Lola kindergarten in Hissor and the primary health care facility in the village of Novobod to observe the polio vaccination campaign. The Ministry of Health initiated a national vaccination campaign with the support of UNICEF and the WHO to prevent the further spread of the polio virus. The U.S. Government, UNICEF, the WHO, and the British Department for International Development are contributing to the effort and investment to fight against recent outbreak of Polio. The United States Government will contribute approximately $250,000 to the effort.

"Working together in the current polio campaign we can make sure that each child is immunized and thus protect them from polio," said Necia Quast at the International Children's Day event in Hissor. Representatives of the local government, the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Mercy Corps also participated.

On May 5, 2010, USAID awarded the WHO with a $100,000 grant for an emergency polio immunization campaign. USAID funds will support 1,095 Ministry of Health vaccination teams and 23 clinical supervisors to complete the second round of the three-round national campaign, and will partially support the third round as well. Additional USAID funding of $148,472 has been allocated to the WHO to provide further support for this effort.

Aside from funding the vaccination teams, the U.S. Government is mobilizing local communities in eight districts to spread key messages on the importance of immunization. A total of 300 volunteers are assisting in this campaign. In Hissor, community health educators are organizing home visits and disseminating facts about the polio virus, while assisting the health system in monitoring the vaccination campaign. This effort is organized by the USAID funded Mercy Corps Maternal and Child Health Program to monitor the vaccination effort, improve coverage of the vaccination and prevent further spread of the disease among children.

According to information from the WHO, there are 139 confirmed cases of polio in Tajikistan.

The USAID grant to the WHO to respond to polio outbreak in Tajikistan, and the USAID funded Mercy Corps Maternal and Child Health Program, are part of the many assistance projects provided by the U.S. Government. Since 1992, the American people, through the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, have provided about $900 million in programs that support Tajikistan's democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growt.