By Petronella Sibeene
Namibia yesterday launched the Natio-nal Oral Polio and Vitamin A supplement campaign for this year.
The first round will be held from June 24 to 26,while the second round will be conducted from July 29 to 31.
Children aged 0 to 59 months will receive oral polio drops and those aged 9 to 59 months will be given Vitamin A Supplement during the first round and only oral polio during the second round.
Even those that would have missed the first round are encouraged to turn up for the second round.
“Previous polio immunisation or Vitamin A status is not taken into consideration because this is an opportunity for those never reached before including the new borns,” the ministry said.
Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, says polio is highly contagious with three quarters of its victims being children.
Previous experiences have demonstrated that national immunisation days are one of the most effective strategies in the eradication of polio and elimination of vitamin A deficiency.
“All children need vitamin A for healthy growth and good vision. It is therefore very important to use this opportunity when a large proportion of children will be reached in a short period of time,” the minister said.
The disease causes permanent paralysis and other forms of physical disability in many of its victims.
“Therefore, eradicating polio is everyone’s business,” he stressed.
Namibia witnessed a setback caused by a polio outbreak two years ago after being free of the disease for 10 years.
An aggressive surveillance activity is still implemented after the epidemic in 2006 and it continues, the ministry confirmed.
The ministry assured it would continue to tackle the challenge of fighting polio and other diseases such as measles out of Namibia.