Mozambique: Health Ministry Preparing Further Polio Vaccination

(file photo).

The Mozambican Ministry of Health has announced that it is currently mobilising resources for the third round of vaccination against poliomyelitis.

The Ministry recently declared a public health emergency following the confirmation of a case of wild poliovirus in a child in Changara district, in the western province of Tete.

In February a case of wild poliovirus was notified in Malawi. In response, the countries of the region, notably Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi itself launched vaccination campaigns.

The National Director of Public Health, Quinhas Fernandes, told reporters that the third round of polio vaccination will cover the entire country. The first two rounds only covered the northern and central provinces.

"Right now, work is underway to mobilise additional resources", he said. "We are considering undertaking the third round between the first and second week of July throughout the country".

"That means those children who were vaccinated in the first and second rounds will have the opportunity to take a third dose of the vaccine", he added.

The eradication of polio, said Fernandes, was not just a matter for the Health Ministry but required coordination between various bodies. Under international health regulations, the existence of just one case of the wild poliovirus is sufficient grounds to declare a public health emergency.

The actions underway, he continued, are synchronised and coordinated with Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia, and in the near future this coordination could be extended to include Zimbabwe.

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