Joining hands in the fight against polio in Myanmar
YANGON, November 2007 – In continuation of responses to the outbreak of polio in Myanmar, National Immunisation Days will be carried out nationwide in November and December this year.
More than 7 million children under the age of five will be given two drops of oral poliomyelitis vaccine (OPV) in two rounds of National Immunisation Days (NIDs) regardless of their previous immunisation status.
The Ministry of Health has trained more than 16,054 health workers and has mobilised 32,109 volunteers who will work for the NIDs through designated
The first round of polio immunization will be from 3 to 5 November and the second round will be conducted from 2 to 4 December to stop the wild polio virus outbreak and to boost the OPV coverage level which will contribute to the prevention of disability due to the virus.
"Polio outbreak in Myanmar after polio free status for over 5 years is a great setback to polio eradication efforts in the region,” notes Professor Adik Wibowo, WHO Representative to Myanmar.
“High level of community participation will be required to reach all target children. Parents are requested to bring every child in 0-5 year’s age group to the nearest vaccination facility on the day of the immunization,” said Professor Adik .
Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF and other partner agencies is committed to implement all polio eradication activities, which include: high coverage of the routine Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI); National Immunization Days (NIDs); mop-up immunization and high standard of Surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis cases in Myanmar.
“UNICEF will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Health in strengthening the immunisation activities so that all children are reached by the EPI programme regularly to protect children from polio and other vaccine preventable diseases,” said Ramesh Shrestha, UNICEF Representative in Myanmar.
Teams from the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, other UN agencies, National and International NGOs are deployed to different parts of the country to support, monitor and supervise both rounds of NID as joint efforts to ensure the success of the campaign.
This has been a good cooperation between different organizations since recent nation wide Mass Measles campaign.
“Myanmar will continue to contribute to the global efforts of eradicating polio. The Ministry of Health has provided the necessary leadership to reach all children with polio vaccine through campaigns and through routine EPI activities,” said Ramesh Shrestha, UNICEF Representative in Myanmar.
Polio is an acute viral infectious disease which is spread from person-to-person, primarily via the fecal-oral route and causes muscular weakness and disability. The disease can be prevented by the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).
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