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Regular Extra Polio Vaccines Key to Ending the Disease-Expert

Regular Extra Polio Vaccines Key to Ending the Disease-Expert

A health expert has tipped health authorities in the country to carry out regular supplementary polio immunization campaigns, at least every three or four years, to ensure the disease is completely eliminated.

Professor Adamson Muula’s advice comes after the ministry of health said it had vaccinated 9.2 million children against polio during the first phase of the 2023 supplementary polio immunization campaign.

He told Zodiak that provision of supplementary polio vaccines has shown to be effective in dealing with the disease.

“This experience has shown us that these campaigns need to be regular. This year it’s been rolled out, we may have to count maybe three or four years from now then we have another campaign and go on and on to the extent that in the end polio is eliminated,” said Professor Muula.

The ministry of health carried out a four days supplementary polio immunization campaign first phase from 12 to 15 July targeting 8, 863,785 children under the age of fifteen across the country.

The campaign involved door to door and schools’ outreach. It was extended by two days to allow more children access, especially in areas that experienced challenges. It surpassed the target by 105%.

Health ministry spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe says they will conduct a second phase of the supplementary polio vaccination campaign after six weeks in September.

“We had extended the age range to also cover those beyond five years when in previous campaigns we were concentrating on children under-five years.

Because of that we are also going to have a second round in September to make sure that these children are fully protected from polio.”

One polio case was confirmed in Malawi in February 2022 ending the 30-year polio free status that the country enjoyed. Four more cases have been registered since.

This has compelled the ministry of health in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef to roll out vaccination campaigns to protect children.

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Last modified on Monday, 24/07/2023

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