Angola

Over five million children get polio vaccine

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Luanda - At least five million children were vaccinated in the country in 2019 to fight poliomyelitis during the campaigns promoted by the Ministry of Health, said last Friday in Luanda, the minister Sílvia Lutucuta.

The official was speaking to the press, during the meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation members, having reminded that the country is free from this disease for 10 years, but in 2019 there was a necessity to hold a vaccination campaign to block it, due to the existence of the disease in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Angola (DRC) and the reappearance of isolated cases of the disease in certain Angolan locations.

Sílvia Lucuta referred that 14 provinces of the country were selected for the campaign, having not being part of this process the provinces of Namibe, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango e Cunene, as there is no diagnosis of the disease.

The official explained that, despite the non existence of any case in those regions, the provinces of Namibe, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango and Cunene will be covered in the second phase of the vaccination campaign, planned for February this year.

On his turn, the Strategies Programs Implementation Director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael Galway, stated that this philanthropic institution financed the vaccination campaign with about twenty million dollars.

The Director informed that the foundation patron, the American multimillionaire Bill Gates, intends to continue supporting projects of the Health sector in Angola, to reaffirm this position is planned for February this year, in Davos – Switzerland, a meeting with the Angolan officials.

The poliomyelitis is a contagious disease, caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system that might cause nervous system, which can cause paralysis in the legs and arms. The disease is spread when the polio virus comes into contact with a child's mouth through dirty water, food or hands.