Polio marklate – from 25-28 October, 2013
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation briefed newsmen on the forth coming National Immunization Days [NIDS] scheduled to kick off from Friday, 25 to Monday, 28 of this month, at the Ministry’s Conference Hall at Youyi Building in Freetown.
Sending the message to the general public, the newly appointed Programme Manager, Child Health/Extended Programme on Immunization, Dr Sirtie Kenneh, stated that the primary point of the discussion focuses on Polio vaccination as the eradication of the disease still remains a global target.
He stated that Polio may be the next disease in line to be eliminated after the eradication of Small Pox.
He explained that they have developed strategies on how to combat the disease, whose implementation he said has achieved the intended objectives.
He disclosed that the target population for immunization is infants under the age of five years, who he said are most susceptible to the disease.
Dr. Kenneh noted that this exercise will mark the fourth NIDS in the country, adding that he hoped that it will be as successful as the previous ones
He also explained that the four day exercise was going to engage large numbers of health workers who will be going to all communities all over the country, visiting each and every house to make sure that every Sierra Leonean child is given the medicine.
In his statement, the Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry, Mr. Jonathan Abass Kamara, disclosed that Sierra Leone has been given a Provisional Certificate of Country Free Polio by GAVI.
He pointed out that the Ministry was undertaking this exercise because they have not yet achieved the coverage they are expecting.
He noted that they however have some challenges like lack of funds and transportation among others. He affirmed that they have high political and donor partner commitment to go through the process
In his remarks, the Health Specialist of the United Nations International Children’s Educational fund (UNICEF), Dr. Nuhu Maksha, said they intended keeping the borders tight so that the virus that causes the infection will not circulate in the West Africa sub region. He called on mothers to take their children to take the marklate.
He declared that for Sierra Leone to become a Polio free country, all children under five years of age should either stay at home or their parents or guardians should take them to health centres on these days for the marklate which he said is free.
He concluded that al children under the age of five should take the marklate regardless of the number of previous Polio marklates they have taken.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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