Second round of polio immunization campaign launched
Targeting over 726,000 children up to five years of age in 28 districts in Banadir, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions
MOGADISHU: The second round of the polio vaccination campaign targeting over 726,000 children up to five years of age in 28 districts in Banadir, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions was launched by the Federal Health Ministry with the support of UNICEF and WHO.
The first round took place between December 10 – 12, 2017 and reached 702,667 (97%) of targetted children with 800,000 vaccine doses procured and distributed by UNICEF.
‘Collectively, we need to ensure that all children in the focus areas are reached; particularly those who have been missed in previous vaccination campaigns or who have not received vaccination against polio as part of routine immunization.’ said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Somalia Representative.
More than 4,400 vaccinators and monitors, and 848 social mobilizers and religious leaders have been trained and deployed to ensure wide community support and participation for the three day oral polio campaign.
The campaign will be conducted through house-to-house visits by vaccination teams who will administer oral polio vaccine for children under five. This will be followed by a third round using Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to boost immunity among children between 2-23 months of age.
During the launch at the Waberi Maternal and Child Health centre in Mogadishu, the Federal Minister of Health Fawziya Abikar Nur stressed the importance of immunization and urged both mothers and fathers to ensure that their children are fully immunized against five killer and crippling diseases including polio.
Somalia has been polio free since August 2014, when the last case of polio was reported from Hobyo district of Mudug region.