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World Health Organisation calls for polio eradication in Africa

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuesday encouraged Africans to step up its efforts towards the eradication of polio, which has resurfaced in two countries of Malawi and Mozambique this year.

Both countries, recorded a single case of polio in February and May 2022, respectively, a year after the region was certified free from the disease.

WHO Representative to Malawi Neema Kimambo said a lot has to be done in terms of surveillance and routine immunisation rate, among other things.

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“This calls for us to make sure that we have supplementary immunisation, build up the routine immunisation and strengthen surveillance to make sure that we are able to detect if there is a virus somewhere and be quick to contain it and upheld immunity,” she said.

Currently, the African Regional Polio Certification Commission (ARCC) is holding its 29th meeting in Lilongwe on the eradication of polio in the region from June 6 to 10 2022.

Deputy Minister of Health Enock Phale expressed optimism that the recommendations from the experts gathered would help countries draw a robust roadmap.

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“When we have a fight of this nature, we also look at resource mobilisation. This meeting is also in a way of supporting us since we identified a case within. We have done a lot as a country” he said.

Chairperson for ARCC, Rose Leke, said there should be a massive campaign for the remaining phases of polio administration to meet standards that have been set up.

Since Malawi registered a polio case this year, the government has conducted two phases of administering supplementary polio vaccines to all children under the age of five targeting 29 million children.

The remaining third and fourth mass Polio vaccination would be in July and August this year.

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