By Sabina Idayatova
The incidence of pneumonia among children under two years is approximately 60 percent in Azerbaijan, Deputy Director of the Republican Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology Afag Aliyeva said on Aug. 13.
According to Aliyeva, pneumonia mainly occurs in children under one year of age.
"Approximately half of pneumonia cases (46-50 percent) were registered in infants under one year of age," Aliyeva noted. "So, vaccination against pneumococcal infection is stipulated for children up to one year of age."
Aliyeva said the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently investigated the level of Azerbaijan's readiness for carrying out vaccination of children against pneumococcal disease.
"The assessment was conducted by five groups in the areas of Sumgayit-Absheron, Siazan-Shabran, Agsu-Ujar, Agjabadi-Beylagan and Baku`s two districts. The assessment included representatives RGEM, UNICEF, USAID, Rostropovich - Vishnevskaya Foundation. The experts praised the level of preparatory work for vaccination against this type of infection," she said.
Aliyeva added that vaccines against pneumococcal infection can be supplied to Azerbaijan shortly.
"Vaccination will be held at the national level -- across the country, and will be applied to children under the age of one year."
It is planned to start vaccinating children in Azerbaijan by the end of the year. The children under one year of age will be vaccinated with 10-valent anti-pneumococcal vaccines three times. Instructions for using vaccines are ready and trainings are being carried out.
According to the Director of the Research Institute of Pediatrics, chief pediatrician of the Health Ministry Nasib Guliyev, the most common diseases among children in Azerbaijan are the diseases of the respiratory tract. These vaccinations will enable to decrease dramatically the number of children diseased with pneumonia, meningitis and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by pneumococcus.