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Health officials brief the press on forthcoming polio campaign

Oct 20, 2011, 11:58 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in collaboration with its partners, yesterday organised press briefing on the 3rd round of polio campaign.

The press conference, held at the KMC grounds, was jointly organised by the Health Ministry, Rotary International, Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), UNICEF and WHO.

Speaking at the press briefing, the programme manager of Health Education, Yorro Bah, said the 3rd round of polio vaccination campaign is scheduled to run from 28 to 31 October 2011.

He revealed that they would sensitise a cross-section of society by raising awareness on polio and the campaign in particular.

According to him, they would find it very difficult to meet their target when awareness is low.

He assured the media that they would continue working with them as partners.

According to Lamin Ceesay, who represented the Expanded Programme on Immunization, the 2nd round of the campaign held in May had 96% coverage, adding that the target for this campaign is 0-5 years.

About 391,425 children would be vaccinated during the national immunization days in the country, Mr Ceesay said, added that the signs and symptoms of polio are mainly fever, which can quickly progress into weakness of limbs, in most cases resulting into affected limbs remain paralysed for life.

For his part, the communication for development officer at UNICEF, Ousman Manneh, said they would go upcountry to sensitize the parents on the polio campaign.

Momodou Gassama of the WHO, in his remarks, said his organization is a technical agency that works globally, and which participates in capacity building to support government and ensure that quality service is rendered to people.

Sarjo Darbo, public health officer of West Coast Region, said they have 14 operation sites for the campaign.

He said they had mobilised teams at borders where they supervise to get every child vaccinated.

Other speakers on the occasion included Rohey Njie of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Fatou Gaye of the Gambia Red Cross Society and Adama Jeng representing the lord mayor of KMC.

They noted that vaccinators will move from house to house to administer the vaccines to all children of 0-5 years.

Alhagie Sankareh from the Ministry of Health, who chaired the ceremony, said a lot of resources have been put into the campaign by the government and partners and “that should be utilised”.