Maputo — The Maputo city health authorities have extended the third round of the polio national vaccination campaign by a further 24 hours, in an attempt to cover all children under the age of five in the Mozambican capital.
The third round began last Thursday, and should have lasted for only four days, ending on Sunday.
But, when it became clear that many thousands of children had not yet been vaccinated, the authorities extended the campaign to Monday.
The target for Maputo City was to inoculate over 270,000 children. But the municipal councillor for Health and Social Welfare. Alice de Abreu, told reporters on Monday that 15,500 children have not yet received the vaccine.
"So our staff and community activists will sweep through the city to search for those children who, for whatever reason, have not yet been vaccinated", she said. "We have our teams distributed throughout Maputo so that today we can inoculate the children".
Abreu added that, during the vaccination, the health teams will also identify any children with paralysis. Samples will be collected from them and sent to the central laboratories, to confirm whether or not they are infected with the polio virus.
The national campaign seeks to ensure that all Mozambican children are vaccinated, following the discovery of two cases of wild polio discovered earlier in the year, one in the western province of Tete and one in neighbouring Malawi.