PHNOM PENH, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian government launched Thursday the 2011 Measles Immunization Campaign aimed to vaccinate all infants and children aged from 9 months to 5 years with one dose of measles vaccine.
At a special ceremony in Phnom Penh and attended by the Minister of Health, Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality and representatives of health development partners, Mam Bun Heng, minister of health said"the 2011 Measles Immunization Campaign aims to vaccinate all infants and children aged from 9 months to 5 years with one dose of measles vaccine".
Over 1,500,000 children will be vaccinated, and the immunization campaign will run from February till late March 2011.
The Minister of Health reported that the 2011 Measles Immunization Campaign has the full support of the Government of Cambodia, and is seen as vital in further strengthening health services delivery, especially for communities in hard to reach areas that rely on outreach services from the local health center.
The Ministry of Health, along with 35 other countries and territories in the Western Pacific, have committed to achieving the national goal of the elimination of measles by 2012.
Measles continues to cause significant death and disability worldwide, especially in young infants and children, despite an effective and safe vaccine that prevents measles infection being available for many years now.
According to official data released by the Ministry of Health, measles outbreaks have been occurring in Cambodia in recent years, and 2010 had the largest number of children contracting measles.
Dr. Pieter van Maaren, representative of the World Health Organization Country noted at the ceremony that"the success of this measles immunization campaign is vital for Cambodia achieving its national goal of measles elimination by 2012, and preventing further outbreaks of measles in the country.
Between now and the end of March, the Ministry of Health will be dispatching vaccination teams, supported by village health support group throughout the country.