Malawi receives special recognition for stopping wild polio transmission 

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Malawi-Polio

The Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Health, has been honoured with a special recognition during this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva for successfully stopping the transmission of wild poliovirus type 1 in the country.

The award was presented to Malawi Government through the Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda on 27th May, 2024, in Geneva by the Chair of the Global Polio Oversight Board on behalf of all Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners, together with the Global Taskforce for Cholera Control (GTCC).

According to the statement released by Secretary for Health Dr. Samson Mndolo, the achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of health workers (at National, District and Community levels) and all community members who tirelessly worked together in implementing several preventive measures to eradicate this deadly virus in our country. 

“It is a recognition of Malawi’s commitment to the health and well-being of its citizens, as well as its collaboration with international partners such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF in the fight against diseases such as polio. Further, it serves as a reminder of the importance of ongoing surveillance and vaccination efforts to prevent the re-emergence of wild polio virus type 1 in future,” said Mndolo.

According to Mndolo Malawi was able to reach most of the children with the polio vaccine and ensured that the virus no longer circulates in the country. And this was done through through a coordinated effort involving six mass polio vaccination campaigns including a robust polio surveillance system and strong community engagement initiatives

“Since a poliovirus type 1 case was confirmed in February, 2022 in Lilongwe, no other case has been reported. As a country we are proud to be among the countries that have sustained this polio free status. This is attributed to the effective and efficient public health measures which the country with support from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, CDC, ROTARIANS, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners has put in place,” said Mndolo.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis and even death, particularly in young children.

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