SUMBAWANGA municipality in Rukwa Region has vaccinated 60,900 under five children during a third round of polio vaccination campaign.
The campaign that was administered door – to – door for four days started countrywide from September 1st, this year.
Sumbawanga Municipal Medical Chief in Charge Dr Sebastian Siwale told this paper over the weekend that the exercise in the municipality has surpassed by 117 per cent of the targeted 51,919 under five children.
The campaign followed the confirmed cases of polio in neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.
Dr Siwale said vaccine against polio was issued through house to house, in all public health centres, special gatherings, churches, passengers’ bus terminal and social markets.
He further hailed parents and guardians as well as caregivers in 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.
Additionally, Dr Siwale 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 RHO.
He further explained that 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,” emphasize Dr Siwale.
Tanzania was certified as polio-free in 2015, after years without a new polio case, despite of sensitive polio surveillance system.
Immunising every child is the most effective way to guard against a polio outbreak. Due to its sustained high coverage of oral polio vaccines, Tanzania has not detected a polio case since 1996.