Polio Vaccination Campaign Targets 1.25 Million Children

by Sheela Philomena on  July 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM General Health News
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Polio vaccination drive launched by Guinean authorities and international organisations targets to vaccinate 1.25 million children against polio.
 Polio Vaccination Campaign Targets 1.25 Million Children
Polio Vaccination Campaign Targets 1.25 Million Children

The campaign began in Mandiana in the east of the country near the Ivory Coast border, where a case of polio was recorded in May, according to a joint statement by the health ministry and the UN children's fund UNICEF, which is working on the campaign with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The operation, which will end Monday, aims to "prevent poliomyelitis in all 15 prefectures of three high-risk administrative regions which are Faranah (centre), Kankan (east) and Nserekore (south-east)," the statement said.

About 1.25 million children up to five years old should receive the anti-poliomyelitis vaccine, it said.

The vaccination campaign is underway at the same time as those in other African countries such as Mali, Ivory Coast and Nigeria which have seen cases of polio in recent years, a blow to efforts to completely eradicate the disease.

After five years without a case of polio, Guinea in 2009 suffered an outbreak with 42 cases registered.

In an interview with AFP in May, Microsoft magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates -- who has poured millions into the fight to eradicate the disease -- slammed African leaders for failing to vaccinate children.

The WHO says one sick child can "contaminate 200 others".

The world is 99 percent towards making polio the second disease to be wiped out, after smallpox. The paralysing disease, which once terrorised the developed world, exists now only in a few countries.

Source: AFP

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