Vaccination campaign to eliminate polio kicks off in Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Over 5,759,000 children under five years old were vaccinated against polio during a nationwide synchronised vaccination drive in Burkina Faso from 28 to 31 October 2011. Polio is a wild and contagious disease which mostly affects children under 14 years old.
Following the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Burkina Faso has also been involved in this eradication initiative. Since October 2009, no cases of wild poliovirus have been discovered in the country. This is the result of several successful vaccinations campaign drives from 2009 onwards.
In order to immunize all under-fives, 13 West African countries, including Burkina Faso, had synchronized vaccination campaign drives in October 2011 to tackle polio.
In Tougan (province of Sourou in the Boucle of Mouhoun region), the campaign report by the regional health district mentioned that 79,480 children were vaccinated during this Synchronized National Immunization Days(SNIDs).
Bernadette Kané, a 37 year-old mother of six lives in neighbouring Kouy village. Three of her younger children were vaccinated during the campaign.
Bernadette is aware of the benefits of the polio vaccine for children. She explains the importance of these campaigns for her and her family. “When the village crier informed us that the vaccinator would come to our village, I returned home three times before I was able to get my three under-five-years old vaccinated. I missed the vaccinator on the previous occasions because I was working in the fields", she says. “The campaign is very important because it aims to protect all children from polio and kick the virus out of our country,” she continues.
Bernadette is very engaged in issues related to her children’s health and she often discusses children’s vaccination with other mothers. “In our village, mothers have understood the importance of keeping children healthy. The polio vaccination is an opportunity to ensure our children stay physically and mentally healthy I’m very proud that all my children have been vaccinated during routine immunization campaigns, especially my three younger children who are now protected against polio, “she says.
For this campaign, UNICEF provided vaccines and $ US184, 745.40 for communication interventions that contributed to the campaign’s success. Important communication activities including the production of a television spot, banners, the production and distribution of radios spots among community radios and door to door visits by community volunteers to raise awareness were also supported by UNICEF.