By Emmanuel Chilemba
Blantyre District Health Office has announced that it will conduct Polio vaccination exercise next week targeting children under the age of five amid the threat of further spread of Polio.
The Development follows Government of Malawi’s declaration of Polio as a public health emergency, after a reported confirmed case of the disease on 17th February 2022 in Lilongwe.
According to a statement signed by the District’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Gift Kawalazira, the exercise will take place from 21 to 24 March 2022 through door to door basis, public and mission health centres and some strategic places that will be designated in various locations of the district.
Kawalazira said that the other three doses of the vaccine will be re-administered in the months of April, May and June as the vaccination is supposed to be conducted four times.
He, further observed that vaccine is most effective and available prevention strategy of the disease hence the need for under-five Children to get vaccinated.
Polio is an infectious disease that invades the nervous system and causes total paralysis. Its virus is mainly transmitted from one person to another through ingestion of contaminated food or water. Children under the age of five are at high risk of contracting the poliovirus.
Currently, according to the officials from the Ministry of Health, part of the 6.8 million doses of the vaccines that arrived in the country on 5th March 2022 have been dispatched to 16 out of the 29 district’s and the distribution will be finalized during the week.
In addition to this, three teams were deployed to the field for repair and maintenance of cold chain equipment.