GENEVA / IRAQ CHOLERA VACCINATION

06-Nov-2015 00:02:44
The humanitarian agencies warned that heavy rains will worsen the Cholera epidemic in Iraq which had infected more than 2200 people since September. UNTV CH /FILE
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STORY: GENEVA / IRAQ CHOLERA VACCINATION
TRT: 02:44
SOURCE: UNTV CH / UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 6 NOVEMBER 2015 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST :

UNTV CH - RECENT

1. Aerial shot, Palais des Nations

UNTV CH - 6 NOVEMBER 2015 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokersperson for United Nations Child Rights Agency (UNICEF):
“Alongside the World Health Organisation we are supporting the response laid by the Iraqi Ministry of Health in three directions: delivering and securing clean water supplies, providing treatment for people showing Cholera symptoms and undertaking national communication campaign to help people protect themselves against the disease”.
4. Close up, microphone
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokersperson for United Nations Child Rights Agency (UNICEF):
“We are also concerned about marginalised and displaced children, women and their families in particular. The cholera outbreak in Iraq is disproportionally affecting displaced and marginalised population. The number of displaced people in the three most affected governorates, Baghdad, Al Diwaniyah and Babylon is more than 660 000, more than half of whom are children and are now in danger of contracting Cholera. “
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson for World Health Organisation (WHO):
”A second round of vaccination is scheduled for early December. As you may know, we need two rounds of vaccination for the vaccine to be effective. WHO, with the support of agencies like UNICEF and also with the government of Iraq, is vaccinating a quarter of a million Iraqi in 62 refugee and IDP camps in 14 governorates. “
8. Close up, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson for World Health Organisation (WHO):
”Vaccinating against Cholera is not a magic bullet. It is not a magic solution. It is one of the tools. The most important thing is really to provide water and sanitation facilities in overcrowded camps and also to do social mobilisation campaigns. Very important hand washing hygiene, etc.“

UNICEF - 20 OCTOBER 2015, DOMIZ CAMP, DUHOK, IRAQ

10. Various shots, women and children receiving Cholera vaccines


STORYLINE:

The humanitarian agencies warned that heavy rains will worsen the Cholera epidemic in Iraq which had infected more than 2200 people since September.

The cholera epidemic, which was detected in Baghdad in September, has already infected more than 2,200 people in Iraq – across 15 of the country’s 18 governorates.

Humanitarian agencies fear that heavy rains will worsen the situation in many areas of Iraq.

A three day cholera vaccination campaign took place in Iraq beginning on 1st November. A second round of vaccinations is to take place in the coming weeks.

Christophe Boulierac, Spokersperson from the United Nations Child Rights Agency (UNICEF) said today to reporters in Geneva that “alongside the World Health Organisation we are supporting the response laid by the Iraqi Ministry of Health in three directions: delivering and securing clean water supplies, providing treatment for people showing Cholera symptoms and undertaking national communication campaign to help people protect themselves against the disease”.

The humanitarian organizations worry especially as the disease might spread to neighboring countries such as Syria and Kuwait and becomes regional epidemic.

UNICEF’s spokesperson said that “we are also concerned about marginalised and displaced children, women and their families in particular. The cholera outbreak in Iraq is disproportionally affecting displaced and marginalised population. The number of displaced people in the three most affected governorates, Baghdad, Al Diwaniyah and Babylon is more than 660 000, more than half of whom are children and are now in danger of contracting Cholera. “

To contain the disease, the UN child agency has provided the health authorities with 820,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts used to treat patients suffering from dehydration. The protection measures also involve the use of water from a protected source, treatment of the water that people store at home as well as the distribution of more than one million water treatment tablets.

UNICEF notes that its humanitarian operations in Iraq remain severely underfunded. To maintain its response to the cholera outbreak, UNICEF urgently needs 12.7 million US dollars.

Also the World Health Organisation (WHO) is involved in the fight against cholera in Iraq, said today its spokesperson Fadela Chaib. ”A second round of vaccination is scheduled for early December. As you may know, we need two rounds of vaccination for the vaccine to be effective. WHO, with the support of agencies like UNICEF and also with the government of Iraq, is vaccinating a quarter of a million Iraqi in 62 refugee and IDP camps in 14 governorates. “

Handwashing campaigns which are currently run and hygiene promotion messages are an important part of the ongoing sensitisation activities in Iraq.

Fadela Chaib from WHO said that ”vaccinating against cholera is not a magic bullet. It is not a magic solution. It is one of the tools. The most important thing is really to provide water and sanitation facilities in overcrowded camps and also to do social mobilisation campaigns. Very important hand washing hygiene, etc. “

A major concern remains for the humanitarian organisations the area in Iraq which is controlled by ISIS. According to Fadela Chaib ”we don’t know if cholera is present in ISIS controlled areas because we are not present. And it is also not possible to go there because of security concerns”.

Cholera is endemic in Iraq, and outbreaks occur every three to four years. The last outbreak was in 2012. Cholera ‘season’ typically lasts from September through December but the massive displacement within the country—more than three million Iraqis have been uprooted and the country hosts 250,000 Syrian refugees—has placed unprecedented strain on the country’s water infrastructure and changed population dynamics, so the outbreak could last longer.
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