Ethiopia, 3 October 2013: Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign to reach 13 million children
Interactive photo gallery of the National Polio Vaccination Campaign (3-6 October 2013) (©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet)
By Frehiwot Yilma
October 3rd 2013- Ethiopia today kicked off a polio vaccination campaign (3-6 October 2013) that will target 13million children across the country.
The campaign, which is in response to the recent polio outbreak in neighboring Somalia and Kenya, will run in 827 districts deploying around 500,000 workers in oral provision of the polio vaccine in both door-to-door and school-based services.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (October 1st), Dr. Tewodros Bekele, Maternal and child health director at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH); said that Ethiopia has planned to immunise under-five children following polio outbreak in neighbouring countries.
“We urge parents, government bodies and NGOs, religious institutes and the media to contribute share for the achievement of the goal,” he said. “We aim to reach seventy-five per cent of the target population in the first two days of the four-day campaign.”
The Horn of Africa is currently hit by massive outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) with an increasing threat of further virus spread. The first case was confirmed in Somalia on 9 May 2013 and in Kenya on 22 May 2013.
In response to the outbreak, FMOH announced earlier this week that it had already started vaccinating all children under 15 years arriving into the country from Kenya and Somalia. The national campaign is aimed at preventing the risk of importation of cases from neighboring countries with 163 cases in Somali and 14 in Kenya confirmed so far.
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