EU supports vaccination campaign to combat polio in Ukraine (22/01/2016)

The European Union is providing €1.255 Million to support Ukrainian efforts to eradicate the scourge of polio.

A girl gets her polio vaccine in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine (UNICEF Ukraine/2015/P.Zmey)A girl gets her polio vaccine in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine (UNICEF Ukraine/2015/P.Zmey)

The European Union is providing € 1.255 Million to support the Third Round of polio vaccinations carried out with the cooperation of relevant Ukrainian government ministries, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. The funding is being made available through the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv to launch the latest vaccination drive, ECHO’s Director of Operations, Jean-Louis de Brouwer stated: “I laud the combined efforts of the Ministries of Health and Education who, together with our partners UNICEF and WHO, have made tremendous strides in vaccinating thousands of children against this dreaded disease”.

The first two rounds of polio vaccinations took place in November 2015, after an outbreak was confirmed by WHO. The third round of vaccinations which is being coordinated by UNICEF and WHO with the assistance of the staff of the Ministries of Health and Education, will target 4.75 million children aged 0-10. The vaccines funded by the European Union were flown in the first week of January in preparation for the latest vaccination drive.

 

Background:

In late August 2015, the WHO confirmed the first cases of polio in Ukraine, the first outbreak of the crippling child-hood disease in Europe since 2010. The EU and other international donors have provided assistance to the Ukrainian authorities to roll-out a major vaccination campaign. UNICEF and WHO are among the EU’s main partners in Ukraine when addressing the detrimental effects of the conflict on children and the health service of Ukraine.

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is provided impartially, directly to people in need, without discrimination of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.