March 30, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation yesterday announced it would commence the second round of free polio vaccination from 1 to 4 April, targeting 1.462,000 children across the country.
Deputy Programme Manager of Child Health/Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr. Mariama Murray, who made the disclosure at a presser, said the free polio vaccination would help boost the immune system of children under-five years.
“We will be vaccinating children from 0 to 59 months. We are encouraging parents to make their children available for polio vaccination when our teams visit their houses,” she said and added that the vaccine they would be using was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
She stated that the team of supervisors has been increased for this round and that they have also put mechanisms in place to ensure that children in remote areas are vaccinated.
With regards the first round of the free polio vaccination, Dr. Murray said It was a great success as 98.7% of the children across the country were vaccinated, surpassing the 95% target which they had set before the commencement of the exercise in February.
Also, Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Dr. Santigie Sesay, revealed that the country has not recorded a single case of polio since 2010.
He said poliomyelitis is a vaccine preventable disease, but noted that some preventable diseases contribute significantly to child mortality.
“Sierra Leone has one of the highest child mortality in the world. Each dose adds value to the health of our children,” he said and stated that the free polio vaccination was one strategy they are using as a ministry to ensure that children don’t die before they celebrate their fifth birthday.