12 December 2017

Somalia Launches Polio Campaign Targeting 700000 Children

Somalia' Health Ministry together with UNICEF and WHO has launched what it hopes is its last effort to completely wipe out polio from the Horn of Africa country.

The polio vaccination campaign launched on Sunday targets 726,699 children under the age of five in Banaadir and Shabelle regions.

All children under five years are to be vaccinated whether immunized before or not.

"No cases of polio have been detected in Somalia since August 2014, however, as a preventative measure; it is imperative that all children under five years of age in targeted locations, whether previously immunized or not, receive two drops of oral polio vaccine," Dr. Ghulam Bupal the WHO representative in Somalia said in the launch.

"This campaign has been carefully planned to make sure that all children in the chosen areas, particularly those who have been missed in previous vaccination campaigns, are reached this time," UNICEF country representative Steven Lauwerier.

More than 4,400 vaccinators and monitors, and around 800,000 doses of vaccine have been mobilized to conduct the activity.

Polio is a highly infectious disease.

Somalia has not had new polio cases since August 2014, when the last case of polio was reported from Hobyo district of Mudug region.


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