Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) monitored the delivery of the vaccination across a number of war-torn Syrian cities.
In a campaign to eradicate polio, QRCS has monitored the delivery of vaccinations for 815,000 children across northern Syrian provinces, in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Children, who had not been covered by previous vaccination campaigns, were given an oral polio vaccine with the ultimate goal of eradicating the illness and achieving zero transmission in northern Syrian territories.
A team of QRCS personnel were deployed across the region to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine, adequacy of the vaccination centres and safe delivery to children.
Among the areas covered by the campaign were the districts and countryside of Idlib, the countryside of Aleppo, Tell Abiad, and Ras Al-Ayn, where the health sector has been devastated by the war and public health services are lacking due to COVID-19.
The monitoring process consisted of three phases. The first included supervision of the centres to make sure they were safe and that all equipment was in place. During the second phase of the campaign, the QRCS team examined vaccine samples, checked storage conditions, and accompanied vaccinator teams to assess their performance at health centers and households. Finally, the team took note of challenges and lessons learnt, in order to improve future campaigns.
QRCS has been at the forefront of other humanitarian aid work, including providing healthcare equipment to fight the spread of COVID-19 in schools in Gaza. QRCS has also previously monitored vaccination campaigns in Gaziantep, on the Turkey-Syria border as well as campaigns inside the war-ravaged country for measles and rubella.