Ministry of Health targets 9.7 million children in second phase of Polio vaccination

Mike Chikasema one of the officials involved in Polio Vaccination in Malawi

The Ministry of Health is expected to vaccinate 9.7 million children under the age of 15 in a polio vaccination campaign this week.

This was disclosed during a media briefing by Dr. Mike Chisema who is the National Programs Manager for expanded program on immunization in the Ministry of Health.

Speaking at the briefing, Chisema said the Polio vaccination campaign will commence on Wednesday 13th September and end on Saturday 16th September, 2023.

According to Chisema, the objective of the campaign is to make sure all children are protected from paralysis and death due to polio.

He added that so far they have done 5 rounds, 4 in the year 2022, one in 2023, and they are going for the next one this week.

Chisema noted that everything is set to ensure that the polio vaccination campaign is successful.

“Our preparations involve quite a number of things and by now I should say across all the pillars that support our preparations, we are ready over 90 percent.

“People are ready in the field, the districts are already trained and prepared, they have been given resources to support with mobilization of people and create demand so that people are vaccinated,” said Chisema on Friday.

Chisema further noted that they have expanded the age range to under 15 after they reported a case of a 14-year-old child in Blantyre.

“We have expanded the age range to less than 15-years-old. Those that are less than 15 years of age are the high risk group for Polio virus disease so we are targeting those. When we had campaign in 2023, we targeted the same age and we reached 107 percent and we believe it’s going to be the same and we are targeting same age group this time around to boost their immunity for Polio,” said Chisema.

In his remarks, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Adrian Chikumbe urged all parents and caregivers of children to have their children under the age of 15 vaccinated against Polio during the campaign regardless of whether they were already vaccinated or not.