Polio Round 2 to Kick Off

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Round two of a national polio immunisation campaign is scheduled to take place next week Wednesday.

Children aged 0 to 59 months and those aged 9 to 59 months will receive oral polio drops from 30 July to 1 August 2008.

Even those that would have missed the first round, which was held from 24 – 26 June, 2008 are encouraged to turn up for the second round.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services described the national outcome of the first round a success, with oral polio coverage and Vitamin A Supplement standing at 100 percent.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry Kahijoro Kahuure said a total of 285 265 children were immunized for oral polio, while 239 692 received vitamin A supplement.

“Previous polio immunisation or vitamin A status is not taken into consideration because this is an opportunity for those never reached before, including the newborns,” the ministry said.

The ministry says eradicating polio should be everyone’s business especially that Namibia had just emerged from a polio outbreak two years ago and is still at risk.

At the launch of this year’s campaign, the health minister Dr Richard Kamwi emphasised that all children below the age of five should be immunized especially that polio is highly contagious, with three quarters of its victims being children.

The minister stressed, “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.”

He also reminded parents that polio causes permanent paralysis and other forms of physical disability in many of its victims.

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