UNICEF provided poliomyelitis vaccine to Kazakhstan
Photo courtesy of UNICEF
Kazakhstan has completed immunization of children against poliomyelitis. Children under the age of 6 were inoculated on April 3-7 nationwide. Additional inoculation was given to children aged 6 to 14 in South Kazakhstan oblast on April 16-20, Tengrinews.kz reports citing UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF provided 2 093 000 doses of trivalent vaccine free of charge. For additional immunization in South Kazakhstan oblast UNICEF provided additional 430 000 doses of monovalent vaccine. The necessity of additional immunization for children aged under 6 was created by the disease outbreak in Tajikistan and its expansion in the Central-Asian region and Russia in 2010. In August 2010 one case of imported poliomyelitis was detected in Kazakhstan. The goal of additional immunization was to prevent a poliomyelitis outbreak in Kazakhstan. Since 2002 Kazakhstan is officially considered a poliomyelitis free country by the World Health Organization (WHO). Poliomyelitis epidemiology situation in Kazakhstan is stable, immunization coverage made 98.6 percent in 2009. Poliomyelitis is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. In about 1% of cases the virus enters the central nervous system, preferentially infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and acute flaccid paralysis. It can even cause death in a matter of hours.