RUKWA region is set to vaccinate 324,668 under five children in the fourth round polio vaccination campaign which kicks off countrywide today.
The Regional Vaccination Coordinator Officer, Ms Ndenisia Ulomi, told reporters in Sumbawanga town on Wednesday that all necessary preparations for the exercise were completed to allow it to be carried out smoothly.
Elaborating, she explained that the campaign will be administered door – to – door as well as road — to– road for four days from today.
“We are intending to reach out to all children in all our Districts in the region with the vaccine to protect them against the wild polio “, said Dr Kamba.
She further said the last vaccination exercise there were no major challenges from the parents.
According to Ms Ulomi a total of 276,392 children equivalent to 118 per cent were reached in the last exercise in the region.
Ms Ulomi pointed out that awareness campaigns regarding the vaccine have been successfully carried out across the region.
“We have conducted awareness sessions regarding the vaccine and the we are expecting that the exercise will turn out successful as the last one”, he noted
The campaign followed the confirmed cases of polio in neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.
Ms Ulomi said vaccines against polio were issued through house to house, in all public health centres, special gatherings, churches, passengers’ bus terminals and social markets.
She further hailed parents and guardians as well as caregivers in the municipality for welcoming vaccinators in their homes during the four days of the campaign.
“The vaccine is provided as per the directives of the Ministry of Health in efforts to protect children under five years old across the country after a polio outbreak in neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.
For his side, Senior Health Officer–,Mr Kennedy Kiauke encouraged parents to protect their children, as polio is contagious and can cause a permanent disability, which has no cure to the infected child.
He further cautioned that poliovirus affects the nervous system and can cause total paralysis within hours.
“While there is no cure for poliovirus, the disease can be prevented through administration of a simple and effective vaccine, which is safe and has been approved by World Health Organisation (WHO),” noted Mr Kiauke.
He further explained that the last polio case in Tanzania was in 1996.
“The poliovirus is transmitted from person to person mainly through facial – oral route and through contaminated water or food,” emphasised Dr Siwale.