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Polio Vaccination Campaign For Children Aged 10 Years And Below Begins

3 months agoTue, 20 Feb 2024 07:57:40 GMT
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Polio Vaccination Campaign For Children Aged 10 Years And Below Begins

The Mass Polio Vaccination Campaign commences across the country this Tuesday targeting children aged 10 years and below.

The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Sleiman Kwidini said two rounds of emergency national polio vaccination campaigns targeting all children below 10 years of age have been scheduled for February and March 2024.

As reported by the Chronicle, all children below 10 years are being targeted with an initial two rounds of novel oral Polio vaccine (nOPV2) to quickly boost their protection from type two polio viruses. Said Kwidini:

The first round is scheduled between 20 February and 1 March 2024 while the second round is scheduled between 19 and 29 March 2024 for all provinces.

The emergency vaccination campaign, which will be conducted in close collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education targets to vaccinate and protect a total of 4 206 013 children in each of the two rounds.

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The vaccines for both rounds one and two have already been received in the country and prepositioned in all provinces and cities.

Vaccination will be done through the deployment of house-to-house and mobile vaccination teams in addition to vaccination at all health facilities during the campaign days.

Kwidini expressed gratitude to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organisations that are supporting the initiative. He said:

On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, I would like to acknowledge technical and funding partners who are complementing Government efforts in the fight against Polio in the country.

These include WHO, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Unicef, Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rotary Club, Crown Agents and others.

The support is appreciated and let us continue to work together until we eradicate Polio in our beautiful nation.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that largely affects children under five years of age, causing permanent paralysis (approximately 1 in 200 infections) or death (2-10 per cent of those paralysed).

The virus is transmitted from person to person, mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (such as contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.

The incubation period, according to health experts, is usually 7-10 days but can range from 4-35 days.

Up to 90 per cent of those infected are either asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms and the disease usually goes unrecognised.

Kwidini said the Ministry strongly encourages all parents and caregivers of children to ensure that all children below 10 years of age are vaccinated against polio and protected.

More: Pindula News

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