NW Joins Campaign to Bar Polio

The campaign to run from March 1-3, 2024 will target over 340,000 children 0-59 months in all the 21 health districts of the  Northwest region, according to information made public by the coordinator of the expended Program on Immunization, Dr Cornelius Teboh.

This round of vaccination against poliomyelitis follows the recent outbreak of 13 cases of the disease in Cameroon, 12 in the centre region and one in the Far North, prompting this first round of the National response, Mr.Soudouna Ali,  Secretary general to the Governor’s Office NW region said during an advocacy meeting to launch the campaign in the Northwest Region on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

He called on all administrative, municipal, traditional and religious authorities to give particularly attention to the activity to achieve maximum reach and engagement of the general public.

The Northwest has been below the target of 90% vaccination coverage for the past four years leaving many children at risk of catching diseases like the poliomyelitis. Some 2000 social mobilisers and vaccinators have been deployed in the region to ensure effective vaccination this time Dr Teboh said. No case of the disease has been reported in the Northwest region despite the poor coverage. But public health officials are not leaving things to chance.

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Over 2000 mobilisers and vaccinators have been deployed across the entire region
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Vaccinators are moving from door to door to vaccinate children below 5 years

Public health officials in the region also intend to work in collaboration with other partners and NGO to reach as places difficult to reach due to the on going crisis in the Northwest and Southwest region.

Poliomyelitis was certified eradicated by the WHO in 2015 but outbreak of cases worldwide and in countries of the lake Chad Basin in 2016 and subsequently means Cameroon is at risk of the disease.

Children below five years are those targeted in this round of the campaign and catch up vaccination for children 0-23 months in the routine vaccination calendar. The children will be administer two doses of the oral polio vaccine in health facilities and by the mobile team in markets, churches, school, motor park and other public place. All the interventions are free of charged.

Polio is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the poliovirus. The virus is transmitted by drinking of contaminated water or eating contaminated food. Polio causes irreversible paralysis of the limbs. The virus mostly affects children under the age of five who have not been vaccinated or who have been insufficiently vaccinated. It can also affect adolescents and adults. Vaccination remains the most effective form of prevention. The second round of the campaigns comes up from April 5-7, 2024. The campaign is also holding across all 201 health districts of the country.

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The SG NW region and public health offials and other stake holders at the advocacy meeting

By Bathsheba Everdine.

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