By Deogratius Mmana:
President Lazarus Chakwera has said polio is a deadly disease that endangers the future of children and urged parents and guardians to send their under-five children to health facilities for polio vaccination.
The President was speaking Wednesday at a meeting held at Kamuzu Place in Lilongwe, where he met with Public Affairs Committee leaders and other stakeholders.
These included officials from the Ministry of Health, Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA), World Health Organisation, United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, among others.
He said there was a need for stakeholders to join hands on the issue of polio vaccine advocacy.
“The only source of protection from polio is the polio vaccine. If you have a child that is under five, please get him or her vaccinated at the next opportunity,” he said.
Chakwera said the Ministry of Health had put in place a polio surveillance system for early detection of any imported polio case.
“The fact that this one case was caught so quickly means that our surveillance system is working and I commend the Ministry of Health for this accomplishment,” Chakwera said.
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said since the detected case, no other case of polio had been detected in the country.
She said six other samples were sent to South Africa for laboratory testing and the results were negative.
According to the Ministry of Health, 2.9 million children will receive the polio vaccine.
Public Affairs Committee Chairperson Monsignor Patrick Thawale asked the government to take swift action in dealing with polio.
Thawale said Pac would collaborate with the government in the fight against polio.