Thursday, May 30, 2024

Oral polio vaccinations gets favorable response and support from the public

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Lusaka Province Health Director Consity Mwale has thanked residents for responding well to the oral polio vaccination program which is targeting children under the age of five years.

Dr. Mwale said the district has recorded 123 percent of polio vaccinations which is above the number of targeted children.

He said health officers have been conducting door-to-door vaccination programmes, in crowded places such as markets and other public places.

Dr. Mwale urged all parents whose children have not been vaccinated to take them to any health centre in Lusaka for vaccination.

He said even when the four weeks door-to-door campaign ends, the health centres will still be providing the services.

The government launched the first round of the Polio vaccination campaign in Lusaka’s Chawama Township to boost children’s immunity following the recently recorded polio case in neighbouring Malawi.

The first round of the campaign was conducted in Lusaka, Eastern, and Muchinga provinces, targeting 1.2 million children and will later be extended to the rest of the country targeting over 3.5 million children.

Zambia last recorded two polio cases in 2019 in two districts.

And Muchinga Province has recorded a 100 percent immunization target in the just ended four -day oral polio vaccination campaign.

Speaking to ZANIS in Chinsali yesterday, Muchinga Province Clinic Health Care Specialist Charles Chungu said the Ministry in the province has received overwhelming response from members of the community.

He attributed the good response and success of the vaccination exercise to the knowledge that the community has on the polio virus.

He said the department is optimistic of a good response even in the next vaccination campaign that will now involve the entire country.

“The next round of immunization will involve all provinces in the country,’’ he said.

Dr. Chungu emphasized on the need for parents to ensure that their children are protected by getting vaccinated by stating that Polio among other viral diseases can be cured through immunization.

Meanwhile, A total of 37,133 children aged below five years have been vaccinated against polio in Chasefu district during the just ended first round polio vaccination campaign.

Chasefu planned to conduct four rounds of the oral polio vaccination to protect under-five children against the paralysis disease.

The vaccination exercise was caused by reports on one case of polio recorded in Malawi, which shares a long border with Zambia in the Eastern province.

Chasefu Acting District Health Director, Pendavis Chinsoto, told ZANIS that the number of children vaccinated is beyond the initial planned headcount target of 37,048.

Mr. Chinsoto also disclosed that the exercise faced a setback where members of the Malimba Church of God refused to have their children vaccinated.

“The number that we have vaccinated could have been more than that, but in catchment areas like Hoya, Kamzoole, Lunzi and part of Mtwalo, children have not been vaccinated because of religious beliefs from their church,” Mr Chinsoto said.

He said according to reports from the church leaders, their doctrine does not allow conventional medicine apart from prayers alone.

Mr Chinsoto stated that 37,133 under five children have been targeted for the 2nd round oral polio vaccination next month.

“We did sensitisation during the first round vaccination exercise. But my appeal now goes to all stakeholders that they should heighten sensitisation ahead of the second round vaccination,” he said.

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