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EU supports vaccination campaign to combat polio in Ukraine

A girl gets her polio vaccine in Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast, eastern Ukraine. © UNICEF Ukraine/2015/A.Getman

The European Commission is providing €1.2 million to support a third round of polio vaccinations in Ukraine following the start of an outbreak in August last year. 

The vaccination campaign is carried out with the cooperation of relevant Ukrainian government ministries, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Speaking at a press conference in Kiev today launching the latest vaccination drive, Director of Operations of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), Jean-Louis de Brouwer, stated: “I laud the combined efforts of the Ministries of Health and Education who, together with our partners UNICEF and WHO, have made tremendous strides in vaccinating thousands of children against this dreaded disease”.

The first two rounds of polio vaccinations took place in November 2015, after an outbreak was confirmed by WHO. The third round of vaccinations will target 4.75 million children aged 0-10.

The funding is being made available through the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). The vaccines were flown in the first week of January in preparation for the latest vaccination drive.


In late August 2015, WHO confirmed the first cases of polio in Ukraine – the first outbreak of the crippling childhood disease in Europe since 2010. The EU and other international donors have provided assistance to the Ukrainian authorities to roll out a major vaccination campaign. UNICEF and WHO are among the EU’s main partners in Ukraine when addressing the detrimental effects of the conflict on children and national health services.

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) provides relief to victims of natural disasters and conflicts impartially, without discrimination of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.

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