Ahead of a 3-day Polio immunization exercise in the country, the Ministry of Health (MOH), World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has begun holding advocacy meetings with stakeholders.
The meeting is intended to intensify awareness as well as discuss the challenges faced during the exercise, and to ensure possibilities for successful conduct of the immunization process is expected to begin from May 10_13, 2019 across the country.
Samson Q. Wiah, Deputy Program Manager, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), informed a cross section of participants that the campaign is of public health concern is essential to highlight major issues, including challenges that will help to design new strategies for the successful conduct of the immunization exercise.
Wiah said as the ministry gears up to begin the process in the field, its public health team, including community volunteers, are going to reach out to every house, village, community, urban district of the country to ensure that no child is left out of the vaccination targeting children from 0-59 months, with supplements.
Some of the supplements contained vitamin “A” which provides good eye sight for children, and also protect them from polio and other diseases.
The team will also be administering Mebendazole (worm tablets). All of these vaccines will help to boost immunity and protect the child from other infectious diseases as well.
“The polio vaccine is free, safe and does not have any negative impact on the child’s health, as it has been perceived in the public,” Wiah said.
He recalled that since 2010, there has been no case of polio reported in the country; a plus for Liberia.
It may be recalled that on March 7, 2017, the Ministry of Health with support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization and other partners concluded a four-day polio immunization campaign from February 24– 27, targeting a total of 945,464 children from 0– 59 months. The post-campaign independent monitoring data at the time indicated that Liberia has achieved over 95 percent national coverage in each of the last five consecutive polio campaigns.
However, research has shown that there are three countries in the world that are still carrying the polio disease, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.