Polio campaign wrapped up

Polio campaign wrapped up

GOVERNMENT yesterday wrapped up its mass polio vaccination campaign but called on the nation to remain vigilant.

“The fight against polio is not over yet. The main aim is to eliminate the wild poliovirus from Namibia and to maintain our polio-free status of the past ten years,” Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kalumbi Shangula said at the eighth and last media briefing since the outbreak of the disease in May this year.He said individuals needed to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of polio to the nearest health facility.They should also continue to pay attention to personal hygiene, especially washing hands before meals and after using the toilet.”The most important one to prevent outbreaks of similar diseases is to take our children for routine immunisation until they are fully immunised,” Shangula said in Windhoek.By yesterday, the Ministry of Health had recorded 280 suspected cases of polio and 32 deaths.The number of confirmed type-one poliovirus cases has stabilised at 20.A total of 230 suspected cases have been found not to be polio.The first polio patient arrived at Windhoek’s Katutura Hospital from Aranos in the South on May 10.Up until then, Namibia had been polio free for 10 years.The last round of mass vaccination was only for children under the age of five.They received trivalent oral polio and measles vaccinations as well as vitamin A supplementation.Shangula said the preliminary results for round three indicated that some regions did not achieve 90 per cent coverage.The lowest was Omaheke, where only 82 per cent of children were vaccinated against polio.”It was observed that during round one and round two many people from neighbouring countries, especially from Angola, came in for vaccination.However, during round three, Angola was also conducting similar vaccination campaigns.Therefore, the influx was minimal,” Shangula said.He said 301 805 children under the age of five were vaccinated during the third round – accounting for 90 per cent of the targeted group.By yesterday, the total cost for round three had passed N$2,9 million but several invoices for car rentals, catering services and workshops were still outstanding.The overall bill for the three rounds of vaccination was around N$14 million for transport, catering services, communication, workshops and logistics.Health authorities will meet in Windhoek today and tomorrow to discuss the challenges and successes of the campaign, as well as a plan for continuous monitoring and surveillance.The main aim is to eliminate the wild poliovirus from Namibia and to maintain our polio-free status of the past ten years,” Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kalumbi Shangula said at the eighth and last media briefing since the outbreak of the disease in May this year.He said individuals needed to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of polio to the nearest health facility.They should also continue to pay attention to personal hygiene, especially washing hands before meals and after using the toilet.”The most important one to prevent outbreaks of similar diseases is to take our children for routine immunisation until they are fully immunised,” Shangula said in Windhoek.By yesterday, the Ministry of Health had recorded 280 suspected cases of polio and 32 deaths.The number of confirmed type-one poliovirus cases has stabilised at 20.A total of 230 suspected cases have been found not to be polio.The first polio patient arrived at Windhoek’s Katutura Hospital from Aranos in the South on May 10.Up until then, Namibia had been polio free for 10 years.The last round of mass vaccination was only for children under the age of five.They received trivalent oral polio and measles vaccinations as well as vitamin A supplementation.Shangula said the preliminary results for round three indicated that some regions did not achieve 90 per cent coverage.The lowest was Omaheke, where only 82 per cent of children were vaccinated against polio.”It was observed that during round one and round two many people from neighbouring countries, especially from Angola, came in for vaccination.However, during round three, Angola was also conducting similar vaccination campaigns.Therefore, the influx was minimal,” Shangula said.He said 301 805 children under the age of five were vaccinated during the third round – accounting for 90 per cent of the targeted group.By yesterday, the total cost for round three had passed N$2,9 million but several invoices for car rentals, catering services and workshops were still outstanding.The overall bill for the three rounds of vaccination was around N$14 million for transport, catering services, communication, workshops and logistics.Health authorities will meet in Windhoek today and tomorrow to discuss the challenges and successes of the campaign, as well as a plan for continuous monitoring and surveillance.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News