United States Ambassador Susan M. Elliott, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection Nasim Olimov , U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Director Kathleen McDonald, and UNICEF Resident Representative Lucia Elmi presided over a ceremony to mark the donation of a stock of 900,000 doses of Oral Polio Vaccine to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection at the Republican Center for Immunoprophylaxis.
Responding to a request from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, USAID worked together with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Ministry to quantify the amount of vaccine needed. USAID purchased the Oral Polio Vaccine through UNICEF procurement mechanisms. The value of the donation is approximately US$ 233,000.
Tajikistan had achieved the status of a polio-free country. However, in 2010, Tajikistan experienced an outbreak of the disease following 13 years of no reported cases. This donation of Oral Polio Vaccine will help ensure an effective, continuing routine immunization program to prevent a future outbreak.
Ambassador Elliott emphasized that all partners will need to work together to ensure the sustainability of an immunization program for all vaccine-preventable diseases.
Since 1992, the American people have provided over $1 billion in programs and humanitarian aid that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth. USAID grant assistance to Tajikistan now averages $30 million each year of which approximately 30% is directed to healthcare.