Panafrican News Agency

Gambia to launch polio immunization targeting 382,908 children

Banjul, Gambia (PANA)- The Ministry of Health announced Friday a launch of the second round of Polio Immunization campaign targeting 382,908 children aged 0-59 months-old.

The immunization campaign seeks to completely eradicate polio, so far five out of the six regions have certified and only one is remaining that is the east Mediterranean regional of WHO.

“Following the successful completion of the first round of vaccination in response to the polio outbreak in the country to the sub region, the Ministry of Health will kick-start the second round of polio vaccination campaign scheduled for 19 March to 22 March 2022.

“The vaccination exercise will be targeting 82,908 children aged 0-59 months old across the country. Vaccination teams and social mobilizers will be moving from house-to-house, Early Childhood Development Centres, Nursery Schools, Market, Ferry crossing points, Health Centres and in strategic locations to vaccinate all eligible children.

“Vaccinating children with Oral Polio Vaccine is the only proven strategy to break the chain of transmission of the virus among the population. The vaccine in use is safe and effective as proven by WHO and partners,” Modou Njai, Director, Health Promotion and Education Ministry of Health, said at a press briefing held at the Central Medical Office, Kotu, on Friday.

According to him, all children under the age of five years must be vaccinated for the country to maintain the polio free status, adding their staff will enter into every household to make sure the children are vaccinated.

“The Ministry of Health would like to appeal to all families and caregivers, community leaders and religious leaders to ensure eligible children are vaccinated in their houses, communities and any other public places,” he added.

The countrywide campaign is supported by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, CDC and the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Ministry of Health, therefore, appealed to all parents and caregivers to have their children vaccinated in the upcoming round of polio vaccination.

-0- PANA MSS/RA 18March2022