Diplomats Vaccinated against Polio

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By Mandisa Rasmeni WINDHOEK Several diplomats, their spouses and children and other diplomatic staff on Tuesday flocked to a makeshift vaccination site erected at Kenya House that houses the Kenyan High Commission. Kenya holds the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps status. Though some foreign missions like the Germany Embassy preferred having its staff inoculated at a vaccination point near its offices, several of the 40 embassies and high commissions represented in Namibia drove to Kenya House to get their vaccines. This was as part of the second round of the nationwide polio vaccination campaign that started Tuesday and ends today. A similar exercise was held last month. Speaking to New Era on Tuesday, the Deputy High Commissioner of the Kenyan High Commission in Namibia, Dr George Maroko, said since Kenya’s High Commissioner T.H. Dado is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, they felt it necessary that they should prepare all the embassies in Namibia for the first and second round of the vaccination. They took it upon themselves to arrange that all the diplomatic staff members receive their oral vaccinations at Kenya House. Maroko said there are about 40 embassies in Namibia and all their staff members were urged to come to Kenya House to get vaccinated. He said the first round of the polio vaccination went very well in the embassies and high commissions and that he wished the second round will also go as smoothly. Tuesday’s vaccination at Kenya House started at 09:00 and was expected to end at 13:00. Maroko urged all embassies’ staff members to take the polio drops, adding they are trying to get some help from the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations based in Namibia on an awareness campaign that targets the foreign missions represented in Windhoek. Ute Conij of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany said that most of their staff were vaccinated before they came to Namibia, and the fewpstaff members who have not been vaccinated in Germany will go to the Sanlam vaccination Point, which is right in front of their embassy. Therefore it will not be necessary for them to go all the way to Kenya House for the polio drops. The Embassy of The United States of America has confirmed their staff may take two hours paid leave to go and get vaccinated during the second vaccination campaign. They also confirmed that this system worked very well for them during the first round of the polio vaccination campaign. The Government has targeted 95% of the population to get their two drops of Monovalent Type One Oral Poliomyelitis (mOPV).

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