The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the government of Zimbabwe over its ongoing interventions to protect children against the risk of poliovirus infection.
Addressing the polio vaccination launch Wednesday, WHO country representative Dr Alex Gasasira said the risk of importation of poliovirus into Zimbabwe increased very significantly following the confirmation of several cases in Malawi and Mozambique.
“We appreciate the health workers at all levels of the health care system who have worked together with staff from other government ministries and departments, political, traditional, and religious leaders as well as with all stakeholders from NGOs, CBOs, philanthropic and voluntary organizations, the private sector, the media to prepare for the campaign.
“We call upon parents and communities to present their children aged under 5 years for vaccination over the next 3 days. Let us all do our best to support all parents, including those in hard-to-reach communities to get their children immunized. to ensure that polio is kept out of Zimbabwe, it will be important to strengthen routine immunization and disease surveillance. We acknowledge the actions that have already commenced in this regard,” he said.
No polio cases have been recorded in the country so far but government is already vaccinating children who are below the age of 5. Government has also vaccinated children against measles following death cases reported in Manicaland.