Tanzania has just wrapped up one of the largest public health interventions in its history, vaccinating some 21 million children between 9 months to 14 years against measles and rubella. The effort makes Tanzania the second country in eastern and southern Africa to introduce a dual vaccine to protect children against both diseases.
The nationwide campaign, supported by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, Lion’s Club International, UNICEF, WHO, Red Cross and other partners, engaged thousands of vaccinators and volunteers, and covered more than 12,000 schools and 6,600 health facilities over a one-week period. In addition to vaccination against measles and rubella, interventions included Vitamin A, deworming, and mass treatment for Neglected Tropical Diseases such as elephantiasis, hydrocele and river blindness.
The dual vaccine approach will become part of the government’s routine immunization strategy from 2014 onwards and is an example of the implementation of the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012 -2020 to protect and improve the lives of children and their mothers throughout the world.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) donated 5.5 million doses of the measles-rubella vaccine to GAVI for the Tanzanian campaign, following up on a commitment made in 2013 to donate 22 million measles-rubella vaccine doses over a period of four years.
For more information on the campaign, click here.