Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Government targets to vaccinate 3.5 million children against polio

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Zambia intends to vaccinate 3.5 Million under-five children in the polio vaccination exercise which has been launched following a report of the disease in neighbouring Malawi.

Lusaka Province Minister, who launched the exercise today, said the country’s geographic position makes it susceptible to disease outbreaks stating that it has taken a proactive approach to protect children from the incurable disease which causes paralysis and permanent disability.

Mrs Mulyata said the Ministry of Health with support from cooperating partners will conduct four rounds of the mass oral polio vaccination to children in three provinces in the country.

She named the three as Eastern, Muchinga and Lusaka Provinces saying the rounds will be conducted four weeks apart.

The Minister said the vaccination exercise will be carried on a door to door effective from March 23 to 27 to ensure that all children of five years and under are reached.

She said places like bus stations and markets will also be centres for polio vaccination.

Mrs. Mulyata said the Ministry of Health will ensure that no child is crippled because of polio.

She urged all parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated against the wild polio virus.

And United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Noala Skinner said UNICEF has procured more than 5.9 million doses of the polio vaccine for Zambia to cover the first and second rounds.

Ms Skinner said the first round of the polio vaccine aims to reach 1.2 million children across 30 districts.

“The second round will take the campaign to every district in the country and an estimated 3.8 million children have been targeted and at the same time, parallel campaigns are taking place in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.” She said.

World Health Organisation representative, Dr. Nathan Bakyaita, said the reported case of polio in Malawi is the first outbreak in Africa since the region declared having successfully interrupted the transmission of the indigenous virus in 2020.

Zambia recorded two cases of polio in 2019 in Chiengi and Chavuma districts.

1 COMMENT

  1. We need to do something for our Young Kids. I was once like these young ones on the picture. May God bless our young children. Missing my young people from zambia

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