A delegation for the Turkish Ministery of Health paid Watan a visit at their office in Gaziantep on Wednesday the 8th of November to discuss ways to gain effective cooperation and to deal with the challenges the ministry are facing as they begin implementing a third vaccine campaign for Syrian children under the age of five who reside in Turkey.
Dr. Omit Ozdemirer, Head of Epidemiology and Prevention and Vaccination Campaigns, in the Turkish Ministry of Health, emphasized the role of Syrian and Turkish civil society organizations in supporting vaccination campaigns and raising awareness among Syrians residing in Turkey about the need to vaccinate their children under the age of five to prevent the spread of epidemics and diseases.
The Ministry of Health will work to ensure the continuation of the vaccination process after the campaigns have ended by launching 500 Primary Care Centers for refugees and begin opening them gradually early next year.
The campaign aims to protect Syrian children, between 0 and 5 years old, from the spread of diseases such as hepatitis, measles, rubella and mumps. Only 73% of Syrian children are immunized resulting in 109,694 Syrian children, in Turkey, having not been immunized. Although this number has dropped significantly from 406,275 this number still seems low as 97% of Turkish children have already received their vaccinations.
Watan has contributed to the coordination of three campaigns - the February and May 2017 campaigns, and the currently ongoing campaign which started in November and will continue until 17th of January 2018.
Watan has been working closely with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WHO providing logistics, feedback and campaign evaluation.