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Sri Lanka to vaccinate over 40,000 children in refugee camps
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Over 40,000 children below five years old in the welfare camps in Sri Lanka's northern Vavuniya district had not been immunized properly and the government will launch an immunization campaign to counter sporadic outbreaks of measles, an English newspaper reported on Monday.

The Island quoted Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as saying that instructions and orders had been issued on Public Health Officers to vaccinate children at the camps against measles and polio as part of a special "child health campaign" carried out from Monday to Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO and a coalition of other partners are responsible for the campaign follows several weeks of preparations, said the paper.

Together with immunization against measles, children will be given a dose of vitamin A and worm treatment.

About 300,000 Tamil civilians displaced by the final battles between the government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are being housed in the northern Vavuniya and Jaffna districts, waiting to be resettled to their original homes.

The LTTE had been fighting for more than two decades to carve out an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east before it was defeated by the government troops in May.

(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2009)

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