Polio Vaccination Last Round

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK As the last round of the countrywide polio vaccination campaign commences tomorrow, the Ministry of Health and Social Services urges all parents to take their young children for inoculation against the deadly disease. The third and last round in a series of three vaccination campaigns will only target young children, who will be inoculated against polio and measles, plus receive Vitamin A supplements. The vaccination campaign ends on Thursday. According to the Ministry of Health and Social Services at least 333 955 children under the age of five should be vaccinated during the third round. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Kalumbi Shangula last Friday informed the seventh press briefing, since the polio outbreak was announced, that preparations for round three are well under way with national and regional coordinating teams busy organizing human resources, transport and logistic supplies that are required nationwide. “The ministry is urging the parents and guardians to bring their children to the nearest health facilities and the designated points as will be announced by the respective regions,” said Shangula. He urged partners in health and the community at large to continue with the support they offered to the regions during the first and second rounds. “We still need their support in terms of volunteers, drivers and vehicles,” he stated. Old Mutual last Friday donated a handsome amount of N$100 000 towards the ministry’s efforts to ensure all Namibians attain the highest level of health which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Old Mutual Group Schemes Executive Dantago //Hoabeb said during the handover ceremony that his company fully appreciates that health is number one priority in life and that healthcare is simply life care. In 1999, the company established the Old Mutual Foundation and this year set aside N$ 1.7 million for projects related to education, health, welfare, community development and staff community building. “The funding that we are handing over today is a tangible demonstration of Old Mutual Namibia’s commitment not only to our communities, but to the development of our country as a whole,” he explained. Since the outbreak of the disease in May 2006, 279 cases and 32 deaths have been recorded. Confirmed wild polio type one cases remain at 20. A total number of 197 cases have been discounted as polio and the laboratory continues to examine the remaining specimens. Shangula reported that the ministry has not yet established the origin of this polio virus. The health permanent secretary during the same event said that during round two of the campaign all the thirteen regions successfully reached a high coverage of 102 per cent. The same coverage was achieved during round one of the anti-polio campaign. “In round one, a total number of 2 201 494 people were vaccinated while during round two, a total number of 2 206 642 were vaccinated.”