Ashgabat, 7 October 2021 – Despite the global challenges with delivery of supplies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF work together to ensure the continuity of the immunization programme in Turkmenistan. On October 6th, 2021 a charter flight arrived in Turkmenistan, delivering essential vaccines for children. This is the second shipment this year, bringing vaccines against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae, hepatitis A, pneumococcus, and tuberculosis. The shipment is part of the ongoing partnership between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF on delivering essential vaccines for children.
The health care sector has been affected globally by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the priority to mitigate the risks of the pandemic, it is vital to continue protecting people from other existing diseases and to ensure the continuation of routine immunization to prevent outbreaks of infections among children.
The procurement of vaccines and vaccine related supplies is fully financed by the Government of Turkmenistan and routine vaccination is available free of charge to all children in the country. UNICEF provides procurement services to the Government and ensures that high-quality, low cost WHO-pre-qualified vaccines and safe injection and cold chain equipment are purchased and delivered to the country. The Government of Turkmenistan has proactively ensured the continuation of the routine vaccination programme since the onset of the pandemic and significantly increased the funding for immunization under its five-year procurement plan for 2021-2025 with UNICEF.
“Vaccination is critical for public health, and we appreciate the Government’s efforts to ensure the continuity of the immunization programme for children, especially in the current challenging times” – says Alexandru Nartea, UNICEF Representative a.i. in Turkmenistan.
UNICEF will continue supporting Turkmenistan’s commitment to protect all children in the country against vaccine preventable diseases, and to maintain its achievement of reaching high immunization rates in Central Asia and globally.