Posted on 16 March 2023
It has been announced that 1.7 million cholera vaccines will be administered to individuals aged one year and older in Syria. WHO and UNICEF are working alongside the Syria Immunisation Group and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to carry out the 10-day campaign in local communities.
Cholera was already rife in the country prior to last month's earthquake, with 57,000 cases reported between September 2022 and the end of last year. Dr Richard Brennan, Regional Emergency Director for WHO's Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, says there is now an” increase of waterborne diseases for over 2.1 million Syrians living in the northwest of the country, with the risk increasing significantly in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, especially in overcrowded camps and collective centres."
Maddalena Bertolotti, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director programmes for the Middle East and North Africa, says “this vaccination campaign is vital as it will provide much needed protection for children and their families and will help curb the spread of the disease, which can put millions of people at risk.”