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Measles campaign to vaccinate 7.5m children
Posted: Nov 03,2010

A new campaign launched by the Ministry of Health, including two vaccinations against measles for children aged between nine and 18 months, will cover 7.5 million children nationwide from September 24, in an effort to cover at least 95 percent of the target population.


"More than 7,000 cases of measles were reported in 2009, that's why we've launched the campaign," said Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).

The EPI campaign will especially focus on outlying provinces, and replace the previous policy that dates back to 2002, in which children previously received two measles vaccinations at nine months and six years of age.

Health experts explained that two vaccinations within nine months would increase resistance rates from measles to more than 95 percent.

However, health experts discovered that only 85 percent of children had been protected after receiving their first shot of measles vaccine.

The three-month campaign was part of a campaign to minimise outbreaks of measles by 2012, said Hien, who is also director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

About 15 percent of children under the age of six faced the risk of catching measles, and potentially acted as measles carriers, infecting other vulnerable groups, said Hien.

According to EPI statistics, the measles outbreak in 2009 was the largest since the country began a second round of booster vaccinations.

Four months after the first case was found, the outbreak spread to 57 provinces and cities, then to all 63 localities. However, no fatalities were reported. The measles infection rate focused mainly on 1-5-year-old and 18-26-year-old groups.

Priority will be given to implementing the campaign in mountainous and remote areas in northern provinces.

Measles vaccines, syringes and injection needles were provided by the World Health Organisation through the United Nations Fund for Children.

According to EPI statistics, measles outbreaks occurred throughout the country, with more than 1,600 measles cases reported during the first eight months of 2010, of which nearly had 1,100 appeared in the south.

Vietnam has about 12 million of children aged below six years of age./.




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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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