Vaccine from Canada protects the lives of Uzbek children

Usbek boy gets ready for immunization shot at a UNICEF sponsored clinic

Hundreds of thousands of children in Uzbekistan were recently immunized against pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus and polio thanks to a generous donation of 750,000 vaccine doses from sanofi pasteur.

Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), working in partnership with sanofi pasteur and UNICEF Canada, arranged for the shipment and distribution of the vaccine that is helping the Government of Uzbekistan to meet its 2000 Millennium goal of eradicating common childhood diseases.

Twelve-year-old Bakhrom Eshonov from Bukahara was one of the children vaccinated in the three-month long campaign. His mother commented that it was easier to prevent diseases rather than having to cure them with expensive medicines that are not always available. More and more parents, she added, are now bringing their children to be vaccinated, creating a stronger generation of young Uzbeks.

The effort was applauded by the Federal minister of Finance James Flaherty who congratulated the partners involved in this effort. “It will lead to a healthier, more prosperous life for children who are truly in need,” he said. “Canada has one of the best immunization records in the world, so we fully recognize the extraordinary value of such a worthy gift.”

Umid Hudaykulov, the UNICEF Immunization Officer in Uzbekistan, thanked all partners for their effective collaboration in delivering the vaccines and noted that “such immunization activities are of great importance for young people to enjoy their right to health and allow the community protection from preventable diseases.”

HPIC President John Kelsall called this project another example of Canadians coming together to help people in need around the world. “It is wonderful to work with generous and effective partners to bring these valuable vaccines to children in Uzbekistan,” he said. “For many, this will mean the opportunity to thrive and lead productive lives.”