Mass polio vaccination campaign to help curb polio-MoH

The Ministry of Health together with other Global Polio Eradication Initiative Partners have officially launched polio vaccination campaign with a call to the citizenry to embrace the initiative in order to eradicate polio in the country.

Speaking during the launch at Chileka Secondary school in Lilongwe on Sunday, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said, her ministry together with its partners they are putting much efforts to curb further spread of polio in the country since the country already registered its first case.

Chiponda said the campaign is not only taking place in Malawi but also other African countries, hence the call to all stakeholders to take responsibility in making sure that all under receive the vaccine to protect them from the disease.

“This polio vaccine is not new and children have been receiving this vaccine all these it is only that this time around we are having this mass vaccination because we last had a polio case more than 20 years ago,” said Chiponda.

Polio Vaccine in Malawi
Minister of Health briefing a mother before giving vaccine to a child

UNICEF Representative to Malawi, Rudolf Schwenk said they are fully committed to working together with the government and GPEI partners to ensure the effective implementation of the polio response plan.

“UNICEF has already procured and distributed 6.9 million doses of polio vaccines to all 28 districts and 865 health facilities, supported the installation of 220 new vaccine refrigerators, repairing of 135, and the distribution of 3,000 vaccine carriers and 150 cold boxes for the nationwide polio campaigns to all districts in Malawi,” Schwenk added.

Polio Vaccine in Malawi
UNICEF Representative Rudolf Schewnk giving vaccine to a child

In her remarks World Health Organization, WHO representative Janet Kayita said they are overwhelmed with efforts the ministry of health is putting in responding to polio outbreak and hopes this will help to end polio in the country.

The phase first of mass polio vaccination campaign starts 21 to 24 March 2022 targeting about 3 million children between 0 to 5 years old.

More than nine million children are to be vaccinated against polio in the first round of a mass campaign across four countries in Eastern which include Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Southern Africa, after an outbreak was confirmed in Malawi.