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Chinese Hepatitis- B campaign: A Success Story

China's health officials have covered one-third of the country's children in a five-year programme to fight hepatitis B.//

More than 11 million children in 1,301 counties of central and western China are now protected through immunization against hepatitis B, said Jiang Zuojun, the Vice-Minister for Health.

The health officials will have to quicken their pace to reach the remaining two-thirds by the scheduled deadline next year.

The 76 million US dollar project, co-funded by the Chinese Government and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), began in 2002, the year the government included hepatitis B in their routine childhood immunization programme.

The campaign while focusing on children below the age of 5 years, includes 6 million newborns annually, and has had a good coverage, from babies born in hospitals, to those born in the tents of nomadic herds.

China's endeavor is a model for countries struggling to contain the spread of the dreaded hepatitis- B virus and other preventable diseases.


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