NW Targets Zero % Unvaccinated Children Against Polio

Polio oral vaccine being administered to a child

Polio oral vaccine being administered to a child

Public health officials in the Northwest Region are bend on vaccinating some 383 000 children aged below 5 years across all 19 health Districts of the region in the second round of the National Immunization Days (NIDs) against polio from February 27 to March 1st 2015.

In the last campaign of 2014, we had over  9000 unvaccinated children representing some 3% of the targeted population,  which was brought down to 2.2 % in the first round of NIDs for 2015, Mr. Fung John, focal person for communication told journalist in Bamenda on Tuesday during a press briefing.

“Until 100% of our children are vaccinated, until above 95% of parents are informed before the coming of vaccination teams, until this religious body stop using prayers to immunize these children, we will not be free” he insisted.

Dr Sama Julius Nkem, regional Chief of unit for the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) said the numerous campaigns are as a response to a poor routine vaccination in the routine calendar, the fact that Cameroon is in wild polio virus epidemics since October 2013, the continuous influx of Nigerian and Central African refugees into Cameroon, the recommendation of partners and beside, the more the child is vaccinated, the more he is protected against poliomyelitis amongst others.

 

the campaign targets all children aged zero to five years, having been previously vaccinated or not, in all the health districts of the Country. During the exercise health workers will give two drops of the Polio Vaccine in the mouth of each child. The teams are expected to visit all primary schools, mosque, churches, markets and every household during the 72 hours campaign. All the interventions are offered free of charge and will continue in all hospitals, clinics and health centres after the campaign under the routine EPI calendar.

Poliomyelitis has been declared a public health emergency in Cameroon.  Seven new cases of the Wild Poliovirus (WPV) have been confirmed in the country since 2013, in the health districts of Malentouen and in Foumbot of the West Region, in Bankim health district of the  Adamawa Region, Djoungolo health district in Yaounde (imported from  Equatoral Guinea) and in Kumbo-West Health District (from Kribi)

“The occurrence of these cases of WPV is especially alarming as they are the only first cases of WPV occurring in the Central Africa since 2013, and more so in the southern part of the country which is considered a low risk zone. Besides, it is necessary to note that these cases occurred after 4 years of no detection, the last indigenous WPV having been notified in Cameroon in 2009” an official communiqué from the Ministry of Public Health reads.

Cameroon has carried out several NIDs in an effort to eradicate the disease in the country.

By Abongwa Fozo in Bamenda