Uzbekistan recognized as measles, rubella free country

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Uzbekistan has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a country that eliminated measles and rubella, UNICEF office in Uzbekistan reported.

The country achieved elimination of these diseases from January 2014 to December 2016.

The Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella in the WHO European Region underlined that this fact contributes significantly to the goal of eliminating measles and rubella throughout the European region.

In 2007, Uzbekistan introduced the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination to the National Immunization Calendar. Two shots of MMR vaccine for children (in the ages of 12 months and 6 years old) build good immunity against these diseases for the rest of their lives.

MMR vaccination rates in the country are as high as 99.5 percent during the first vaccination and 99.7 percent in re-vaccination (2016).

Infectious diseases are one of the major threats to the health of children. Therefore, the Ministry of Health makes significant effort in implementing the National Immunization Program, to prevent and eliminate vaccine preventive diseases.

“Children under the age of 14 years old constitute 27 percent of Uzbekistan’s population,” said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF representative in Uzbekistan. “Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health investments we can make for future generations. We will continue working with the Government, international partners and local communities to achieve and maintain universal routine immunization rates.”

UNICEF assists the government of Uzbekistan in procurement and introduction of new vaccines, strengthening the cold chain, achieving sustainable self-financing of vaccines procurement, and continuously increasing demand for vaccination through communication efforts.

During last decade, Uzbekistan has been transferring to sustainable and independent financing of vaccines procurement. In 2010, 90 percent of vaccines delivered to the country were purchased using the state budget. By 2020, the country plans to become fully independent in vaccine procurement.

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