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Osmaniye, Turkey, February 2014 – An estimated 1.5 million children have been immunised against polio in Turkey during a second round of vaccination.

Launched by the Turkish Republic’s Ministry of Health, in coordination with UNICEF, the vaccination campaign was held to prevent the spread of the disease across the country.

A young Syrian girl is vaccinated against polio

A young Syrian girl is vaccinated against polio by a Ministry of Health team in Osmaniye, Turkey. @ UNICEF/Turkey-2014/Yurtsever

Family doctors and mobile teams went door-to-door to administer oral vaccinations to all children under the age of 5.

The second round of the campaign, which ran from 17 February to 23 February targeted cities in Turkey’s southern regions not covered by the first phase.

All children in 11 of the border towns and cities were included in the campaign. Syrian refugees aged five and under were also vaccinated in 70 additional cities.

UNICEF supported Ministry of Health teams carrying out a polio vaccination campaign

UNICEF supported Ministry of Health teams who carried out a polio vaccination campaign in Osmaniye,Turkey. @ UNICEF/Turkey-2014/Yurtsever

Turkey’s last case of polio took place in 1998 and the country was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization in 2002. The recent vaccination rounds were prompted by a polio outbreak in Syria’s Deir Azzour province last November.

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