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The nationwide Polio Vaccination campaign which was supposed to end on the 16th of November has been extended to the 30th of November to give more time to provinces faced with logistics challenges to cover all areas in their respective provinces.

Programme Officer for Extended Immunization programme Dr Mathias Bauri said the coverage rate was slowly progressing so they have extended two weeks to get provinces to at least bring the coverage up to 95%.

“So far our coverage nationally is at 81%.”

“About 8 provinces have gone past 80% of coverage, while the rest of the provinces are still progressing slowly and we hope to reach more than 95% of coverage by the end of this week.”

Dr Bauri said their initial target of the campaign to vaccinate 1.3 million children nationwide still remains and they are to reach that target.

“So far we have almost reached 1 million children.”

“There are some provinces below 50% coverage, which they will have to bring the coverage up to 80% or  more by this week in order to meet the target which is 1.3 million children.”

He added that the biggest challenge faced by the Polio team is to do with logistics and on top of that, the rain around this time of the year is not helping the situation at all.

“Because of the current weather, the sea is very rough in the maritime provinces making it difficult for the boats to go out.”

“Trying to get the team to the ‘hard to reach areas’ is another challenge that takes up time.”

Dr Bauri is calling on parents and guardians again to bring their children under the age of 5 to the nearest health center to get vaccinated against Polio.

By Christine KILDI
November 27, 2020