Tue 13 Nov 2018

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After Several Mobile Campaigns, Al-Ghab plain Finally Gets a Fixed Vaccine Center

A Fixed Vaccine Center in the area of al-Hawash, al-Ghab plain – August 2018 (Enab Baladi)

A Fixed Vaccine Center in the area of al-Hawash, al-Ghab plain – August 2018 (Enab Baladi)

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In the last week, the area of al-Hawash, al-Ghab Plain, western rural Hama, witnessed the opening of a fixed vaccine center to offer the area constant services in the field of healthcare.

The center’s director Younes Abu Tarboush told Enab Baladi that opening a fixed center in al-Ghab Plain aims to overcome some of the difficulties facing the people while trying to secure needed vaccines for their children, as they are coerced to travel for a long distance or wait for the mobile vaccination campaigns.

According to Abu Tarboush, about five thousand to 5500 children would benefit from the services that the center will offer, covering a distance of 70 kilometers in al-Ghab Plain, from a al-Huwayz in the south to Qastun and Zayzun in the north.

The fixed vaccine center, which opened on 19 August, is decided to work with the local councils in al-Ghab Plain to organize vaccination sessions and to ensure access to the largest number of children in the region. The center’s staff will also receive training and rehabilitation in dealing with parents and children.

The al-Ghab Plain lacks fixed vaccination centers. Residents often have to go to the town of Atme at the borders with Turkey, or the town of Qalaat al-Madiq in the north-western countryside of Hama countryside or to the Syrian regime’s control areas to vaccinate their children.

However, temporary vaccination campaigns are active in the area from time to time, organized by local councils in cooperation with civil society organizations. The most recent of these campaigns was the “House to House” campaign, which began last May and continued for six consecutive days under the supervision of the “al-Ghab Vaccine Center,” targeting children whose age varies between one day to five years.

The center’s director Younes Abu Tarboush said that the area of al-Ghab Plain is striving with people, and the vaccination campaigns must be intensified, for it received displaced people from eastern Ghouta, southern Damascus, the northern countryside of Homs and the southern countryside of Hama, in addition to the people who came to the area escaping confrontations in nearby areas.

The Health Directorate in Hama, under the Syrian Interim Government, opened a fixed vaccination center in the area of Shashabo Mountain, June 2017, for the first time in years. For a long time, the area was deprived of vaccines and people had to wait for temporary and mobile campaigns.

The Directorate is expected to increase the number of centers as to cover several areas in the northern and western countryside of Hama.

The World Health Organization (WHO)has warned against the return of poliovirus because children are not receiving the necessary vaccines, after the organization found out three cases in the governorate of Deir ez-Zor in mid-2017.

Between 2013 and 2014, the polio various proliferated in Syria, when a ferocious strain, type A, affected 36 cases. Back then, “WHO” said that it had incubated the spread successfully.

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