Ministry Winds Up Polio Exercise

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Round three of the nationwide polio vaccination campaign that targeted children under the age of five ended yesterday on a quiet note. By 14h00 yesterday, most immunization points had become quiet as most parents and guardians had flocked to the points on the first day. The immunization process for the targeted age group started on Tuesday 22 lasting until yesterday. Children received polio and measles vaccines as well as vitamin A supplements. When New Era visited some immunization points yesterday most stations only had nurses as most guardians had their young ones already attended to on Tuesday. Nurses at the points could not speak to members of the press, stating they were warned by the Ministry of Health and Social Services not to divulge any information to members of the media regarding the exercise. Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Kalumbi Shangula described the three-day immunization exercise a success. “The results so far are encouraging,” he said. He could also not give much detail adding that most of the data had not come in yet from the field and would only be in a position to give a full report next week. He was confident that the ministry would attain its set target of reaching around 333 955 children. Shangula further said there did those in the field adding that the preparations for this round were good experience no difficulties. Most centres across the country recorded overwhelming response from the masses on the first day of the campaign. However, some regions complained of lack of enough staff and transport. One such region was the Kavango, where the Health Director Elizabeth Muremi expressed concern at what she termed “limited resources”. She singled out transport as one of the challenges the region is facing. Despite these stumbling blocks, Acting Director of Health in the region Shannon Kakungulu disclosed that within the first two days of the campaign, the region had attained above 60 percent to its target. “By the end of today I am confident we will reach our target,” he added.