Rwanda polio immunisation campaign begins Tuesday

Kigali- Rwanda (PANA) -- Rwanda's national immunisation campaign is to be launched next Tuesday, the country's health ministry announced in Kigali Saturday.
According to health officials, the official launching of this year's campaign would take place at Kibilizi District Hospital in southern Butare province.
This will be the first phase of the vaccination programme that is expected to end on 10 August.
"The second phase is expected to start on September 11, 2001 and will be concluded on September 14, 2001, the officials said.
According to Eugene Rutagengwa, the officer in charge of Immunisation Equipment and Distribution at the Ministry of Health, the first phase would focus on vaccination against the polio virus, while the second would target another type of disease.
He indicated that this would depend on the arrangements of the ministry and available vaccines.
He said that the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and Rotary International had assisted the ministry in preparing the campaign.
State-run radio Rwanda said that the WHO had set the total eradication of the polio for the year 2000 in 1998.
But some countries failed to reach this goal, and three more years were added.
In Rwanda, the last case of polio was noted in 1993, in south-western Cyangugu province, it said.
But because of delays among Rwanda's neighbours, notably the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kigali is obliged to continue the immunisation campaign.
"At the beginning, 1,335,000 children were affected every year world-wide," radio Rwanda said.
"But now the cases are said to be below 5,000," it explained.
In the last six months, this figure has dropped to less than 2,000.

04 august 2001 17:33:00

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