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Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign to Reach 13 Million Children

Interactive photo gallery of the Nationwide 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 50,000 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, NGOs, religious institutes, and the media to contribute their share for the achievement of the goal,” he said.

The Horn of Africa is currently hit by massive outbreak of wild polio virus 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.

FMOH also announced at the press conference that it had already started vaccinating all children under 15 years arriving into the country from Kenya and Somalia. The nationwide campaign is also 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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