Round 2 of polio vaccines  well received in Tanzania

Round 2 of polio vaccines well received in Tanzania

THE second round of polio vaccine exercise that ended on Saturday was reported to have been well received in many parts of the country, according to a report from the national coordination centre for the campaign in Dodoma.

According to the National Immunisation Programme Manager, Dr Florian Tinuga, by the third day of immunisation, 92 per cent of targeted immunised children had been reached.

This second phase of the cam- paign was launched by the Minis- ter for Health Ummy Mwalimu for Mainland Tanzania and for Zanzibar by the Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla on May 18th this year.

The aim of the second round of the polio vaccination campaign is to provide polio vaccines to 10,576 805 children in all 195 districts of Tanzania.

“We have received positive feedback from our leaders, rang- ing from national, regional, dis- trict to village levels.

Because of the positive response of the people and the cooperation with the leaders, we have not experienced any challenges resulting from a negative response," said Dr Tinuga.

He said that on the first day of the vaccination, they reached 28 per cent of the target population and by the second day 61 per cent of the target had been reached.

“We hope that by the end of the immunisation today (yesterday), we will be able to exceed the target.

The vaccination target estimates are based on census data, therefore often due to increase in population, we get more than the estimated number, apart from the fact that in border villages children from neighbouring countries may also be vaccinated,” said Dr Tinuga.

The success of the exercise has also been enhanced using a digital data entry system that enables the door-to-door vaccination team to enter data into a mobile system and the data is immediately available to coordinators at the national centre in Dodoma.

“The availability of timely data has enabled us to be informed in real time the movements of each vaccination team in each village and how supervisors operate.

Therefore, we can respond to challenges in real time,” said Dr William Mwengee, leader of the Immunisation and Vaccine Development Team at World Health Organisation Office in Tanzania.

The system also enables coordinators to ensure that each immunisation team operates daily, location of vaccination team, and the number of children expected in the area.

Tanzania and other countries bordering Malawi and Mozambique have launched polio im- munisation campaigns to ensure children are fully protected after the two nations reported polio cases.

Africa received a certificate for eradicating polio in 2020.

To complete lifelong protection against polio, every child under the age of five should be vaccinated four times.

The third and fourth phases of polio vaccination will be planned and continued later this year.

Meanwhile, a total of 132,914 children aged below five years have been provided with polio jabs administered door to door in Muleba District, Kagera Region.

Muleba District Vaccination Coordinator, Ms Christine Mlemi explained that the exercise was going on smoothly and she was optimistic that the number would increase.

She appealed to parents and guardians to ensure that no child is left behind, adding that the jabs were safe.

Kagera Regional Immunisation and Vaccination Officer (RIVO), Mr Zablon Segeyu explained that the campaign will reach about 637,702 children under the age of five years in the eight councils of Muleba, Bukoba DC, Biharamulo, Ngara, Bukoba MC, Karagwe, Kyerwa and Mis- senyi.

Launching the campaign, Zanzibar Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdullah has directed the Ministry of Health to evaluate the level of the threat of polio disease in the Isles.

“As we join hands to vaccinate our children below the age of five, we need to know the level of polio in our country,” said Mr Abdulla when he officiated the launch of the first round of polio vaccination campaign to boost immunity among children.

According to the Isles Ministry of Health, the polio vaccination campaign which was carried out from May 18 to Saturday had target to cover at least 276,602 children in Unguja and Pemba Islands, the aim is to leave no child behind in the campaign backed by WHO, UNICEF, and GAVI.

Author: DAILYNEWS Reporter

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