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Russia to Allocate $ 1 Million to Tajikistan for Fighting Diphtheria

Sunday 22 July 2012

(Avesta News Agency) – Russia has allocated US $1 million to Tajikistan to carry out necessary activities in connection with the danger of an outbreak of diphtheria. These funds were allocated from the federal budget as a lump sum contribution to the budget of the UN Children’s Fund.

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The diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheria. These microorganisms develop toxin which damages and destroys human tissues and bodies. One of common registered forms of disease is characterized by defeat of a nasopharynx and tonsil. The diphtheria can be registered in both children and adults. In the beginning of the onset of illness, or even some weeks later, can be developed miocarditis, accompanied infringement of a rhythm of heart and cardiac decompensation. The heaviest complication of diphtheria is the hypostasis of respiratory tracts which leads to a fatal outcome.
Outbreak of diphtheria took place in Tajikistan in 1994-1997. The causes of outbreaks of a diphtheria were sharply increased population shift as well inside as a outside of country, sharply worsened social and economic conditions, decrease in life standard of the population, the created lack financial, material, manpower resources, as consequence of civil war.

Following the 2010 polio outbreak Tajik Health Ministry urged the global community and WHO and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first to support serological surveys in Tajikistan and reveal level of population’s immunity to vaccine manageable infections such as poliomyelitis, measles, German measles and diphtheria. The results of the survey revealed that more than half of the population in Tajikistan had no protection against diphtheria. This highlighted the need to improve routine immunization delivery, and to conduct a supplementary national immunization campaign against diphtheria and tetanus, to rapidly close immunity gaps and prevent outbreaks.

The Government of Tajikistan has secured US $1 million from the state budget to buy the vaccines. UNICEF has already procured them through a WHO/United Nations pre-qualified manufacturer and delivered them to the country. The matching contribution from the Russian Federation will be used to buy auto-disable syringes and safety boxes, which will ensure that each syringe is used only once.

“In providing humanitarian assistance to the Republic of Tajikistan and the necessary actions in connection with the danger of an outbreak of diphtheria the Russian government decided to allocate US $1 million in 2012 from the federal budget as a lump sum contribution to the budget of UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This step once again eloquently confirms the readiness of Russia in a spirit of close partnership to provide the necessary assistance to deal with the social problems the friendly people of Tajikistan,” said a statement posted on the official website of MFA of Russia.

As part of a national campaign to combat diphtheria, 23 to 28 April were designated as national immunization days in Tajikistan. In this first phase of the campaign, 730,000 children aged 3 to 6 were targeted to receive diphtheria vaccinations. 

The second and third rounds, which are planned for this autumn, will vaccinate teenagers and young adults between the ages of 7 to 13 years and 13 to 21 years. In total it is planned to cover more than 3.3 million people by the vaccine.

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