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We will defeat polio—Minister

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By Imam Wali:

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said government is committed to eradicating polio in the country by putting in place robust strategies for containing the disease which resurfaced 30 years after the last case had been reported.

Chiponda was speaking in Dedza Wednesday at the launch of the third round of the polio vaccination campaign.

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“Polio is a life-threatening disease and it also causes paralysis. The first two vaccination rounds were a success; as such, we are encouraging parents and guardians to take their children for vaccination,” Chiponda said.

She then disclosed that data collection and transformation were a challenge during the first two rounds of the vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, Unicef has donated 11,000 mobile phones to be distributed to all health facilities across the country for health workers to use during the vaccination campaign.

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“It is important to know how many children we are reaching with the vaccine. We need to make sure that there is no child left behind. Even those who are in the remotest areas should be reached.

The devices will help in tracking and monitoring the vaccination coverage,” Unicef Deputy Country Representative Gerrit Maritz said.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Country Director Kelsey Mirkovic said three million children have received their polio vaccines in the first and second rounds of the exercise.

He commended Health Surveillance Assistants for doing a “great job” during the first two phases.

The third vaccination campaign will run from today to August 14, 2022.

In the wake the declaration of a Wild Poliovirus case in the country on February 17 this year, government rolled out the first-round vaccination campaign a month later targeting children under the age of five.

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