Polio: Expect Improvement

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By Anna Ingwafa WINDHOEK A recent meeting at Ondangwa by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to evaluate the first round of the multi-phased nationwide polio vaccination campaign concluded that the follow-up vaccination campaign would be more successful. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula said the planned vaccination exercises would be more accurate compared to the previous one. According to Shangula, the ministry experienced hiccups in the form of a shortage of polio vaccines not because the drugs were not sufficient but because those who worked with orders underdetermined the numbers of people and the amount of vaccines needed for certain regions. “It was not a matter of vaccines that were not there, the thing is we used census information and the estimation was not accurate,” said the Health P.S. “Some regions particularly Erongo were the most affected because the census information indicated that there were about 47 000 people while the vaccination results showed that there are more than 60 000 people in that region,” explained Shangula. Roughly, around 2.2 million people received vaccines for wild polio allover the country. Shangula stressed that the response that they got from the communities during the first vaccination campaign was overwhelming. Meanwhile, some farm workers in Hardap Region complained about being left out during the first round of the polio vaccination campaign that took place about two weeks ago. A health official from Hardap said that nine farms in MaltahÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¶e were not vaccinated on time but it was only last week that the health officials got their cars and managed to go to these farms. Dr Shangula assured the farm workers that the second round will not pass by without them being immunized. ” Yes, we heard about these people but it was just a misunderstanding on places where they should go. “I am encouraging them to listen carefully to the places where vaccination is taking place.” He appealed to the public to offer a helping hand especially with cars to transport the medicine to different places in order to make the campaign successful. The second round is scheduled to take place on July 18 – 20 countrywide.

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