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Govt To Act On Polio Threats

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is set to roll out a polio vaccination campaign following a surge of cases in neighbouring countries.

Addressing journalists during a training on outbreaks and immunisation, Expanded Program and Immunisation Manager Colline Chigodo said they are targeting all children below the age of five even if they were immunized before.

“Polio is resurfacing in neighbouring countries and as a country under threat, we are going to start a polio vaccination campaign as a protection measure. Mozambique has reported seven cases so far.

“We will be vaccinating all children below 5 and monitoring all children under 15. We will be giving out oral polio drops,” she said.

Chigodo urged parents to report to health centres if they notice polio symptoms which is acute flaccid paralysis and weakness of limbs.

Health Promotion Manager in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Norman Dzirambi said the vaccination campaign will be phased into two.

” The first campaign will run from 27 October to 30 October. The second one will run from 1 December to 4 December.   We are going to conduct a door-to-door mass vaccination campaign in the country targeting all children under the age of five years irrespective of vaccination status,” she said.
Poliovirus is very contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact. It lives in an infected person’s throat and intestines. It can contaminate food and water in unsanitary conditions.

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Poliovirus only infects people. It enters the body through the mouth. It spreads through contact with the faeces (poop) of an infected person and droplets from a sneeze or cough of an infected person (less common).

An infected person can spread the virus to others immediately before and up to 2 weeks after symptoms appear. The virus can live in an infected person’s intestines for many weeks. It can contaminate food and water in unsanitary conditions.

Malawi and Mozambique are experiencing a polio epidemic pushing surrounding countries to embark on vaccination campaigns.

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