Campaign to eradicate lethal diseases
The vaccines aimed at eradicating whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae, poliomyelitis and diphtheria.
"Yemen has all the new vaccines from WHO to protect children against six lethal diseases," said Dr. Alaa Al-Deen Al-Alwan, Regional Director of WHO in the Middle East.
WHO commenced supplying the Yemeni Vaccination Program with the vaccines because of the mounting deaths of children from these diseases. This is the third weeklong Yemen regional vaccination campaign to be held in 3 years, part of the larger annual Middle East vaccination campaign, according to Al-Alwan.
Muhammad Salem Basendawa, the Prime Minister, and Ahmed Qasim Al-Ansi, the Minister of Public Health and Population, inaugurated the Yemeni regional vaccination campaign in Sana'a on Monday under the slogan "Reaching Every Community."
The vaccination campaign has prepared special teams to deal with the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Sa'ada, Abyan, and those in African refugee camps, according to Majed Al-Joneed, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MOPHP).
The vaccination of these parts of the community will prevent the reoccurrence of lethal disease outbreaks among them, according to Al-Joneed.
"The MOPHP has established special vaccination centers for the African refugee camps in Kharaz in the city of Lahj, and other places like Haradh, so that all their residents can get the vaccine to eradicate the lethal diseases," said Al-Joneed.
"Further, other special teams have been established to give vaccines to the IDPs in Haradh and Aden, who were forced to leave their homes because of the ongoing war in Sa'ada and Abyan, respectively" he added.
"The vaccination campaigns face many difficulties while working in poor neighborhoods," Salah Dabwan, head of Aden's Association of Popular Neighborhood Youth, told the Yemen Times.
Al-Joneed denied what Dabwan claimed, saying that the all the poor neighborhoods nationwide are given special care and affirmed that numerous teams were sent to poor neighborhoods to guarantee that all people in these areas receive the vaccine.
The percentage of people who receive vaccines has been increasing every year from 2005 to 2010. Almost 85 percent of Yemeni children received vaccines in the third week of vaccination this year.
"The ongoing circumstances which Yemen has witnessed since last year have reduced the average of the number of people receiving vaccination to 81 percent, which is still considered sufficient," said the Minister of Health.
Yemen has been free of poliomyelitis since 2006, according to a comprehensive report issued by the Yemeni Vaccination Program, which it began in 1977.
A national vaccination campaign began in Yemen in March and April, aimed at vaccinating an estimated 7.5 million Yemeni children between 6-months and 10-years-old.
The vaccination campaigns stopped the spread of poliomyelitis after the infection of about 4,000 Yemenis. No new cases have occurred since.