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Journalists briefed on upcoming National Immunization Days

Oct 9, 2013, 9:45 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore Njie

The Health Promotion and Education Unit under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its partners recently organised a day sensitization for members of the press on the 2nd round of the National Immunization Days (NIDs) scheduled for 25 through 28 October 2013.

The NIDs are special days set aside to immunize all children from 0 to 5 years in The Gambia against polio.

Meanwhile, this year an estimated 401,299 children will be vaccinated during the NIDs within the country.

Polio vaccine is safe and free of charge, and is easily administered in droplets through the mouth, health ministry officials say.

Speaking at the press briefing held at the Central Medical Store in Kotu, Modou Njai, director of health promotion and education at health ministry, said the campaign vaccinators will move from house to house in the community to administer the vaccines to all children of 0 to 5 years.

Sidat Fofana, deputy programme manager EPI, in his presentation, told journalists that The Gambia was declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation in June 2004.

This he said was made possible with the active involvement and commitment of the Government of The Gambia, the United Nations agencies, NGOs and other development partners.

According to Fofana, their goal is to reach 90% and above of children the age of five years, noting that 462,000 doses of the vaccines are already in the country for the programme funded by UNICEF and WHO.

For his part, Pa Ousman Manneh of UNICEF thanked health journalists and tasked their association to work collectively.