Over 300,000 children under 15 to be vaccinated after three children affected by polio virus
BATA, Equatorial Guinea, 24 April 2014 – In response to the third confirmed case of poliovirus in Equatorial Guinea, the government, UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners have launched a national polio immunization campaign of children under 15.
The National Polio Immunization Campaign was launched by the President and First Lady of Equatorial Guinea in the district where the first case of polio virus was reported last month. Campaigns will continue until 27 of April 2014.
This first round of the campaign aims to vaccinate over 300,000 children under 15 years of age. With the support of the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Equatorial Guinea is planning second and third rounds in May and June respectively.
"Stopping the transmission of polio in Equatorial Guinea is a key priority in order to ensure children, families and communities are protected against this terrible and crippling disease that also has enormous social costs," said UNICEF Representative in Equatorial Guinea, Dr. Brandão Có.
UNICEF has worked with the Ministry of Health and other partners to ensure communities are informed about the importance of the campaigns and the need to ensure children are immunized.
UNICEF is also providing support to the Ministry of Health in Equatorial Guinea with vaccine procurement, cold chain revitalization and social mobilization activities. More than 138 community mobilizers have been trained and deployed to all districts of the country to conduct grassroots level community awareness.
Notes to editors
In Equatorial Guinea, low routine immunization coverage is one of the reasons the poliovirus was able to reintroduce itself in the country, which has led to the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF, WHO and multiple technical partners renewing their commitment to improving routine immunization coverage in the country.
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