Ministry Strives to Implement Full Coverage of Polio Vaccination in Pastoral Areas

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Addis Ababa October 25 /2019 Ministry of Health is working to realize full coverage of vaccination to utterly eradicate all types of polio virus in pastoral areas of Ethiopia.

Ministry of Health in collaboration with Rotary International has celebrated the 7thNational Polio Day in Addis Ababa on Thursday.

State Minister of Health, Doctor Lia Taddese told ENA that the government in joint venture with partners has been working to make the pastoralist community free from polio.

Realizing the full coverage of vaccination, consecutive campaigns and surveillance system are among the main area of methods being used by the government to prevent and sustain the achievements in polio virus eradication, she revealed.

Despite the fact that the government is able to make the country free from wild polio since 2014, four cases of circulating vaccine derived-polio (cVDPV) virus has been recently erupted in Dollo Zone, Somali Regional State of Ethiopia.

The outbreak was caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV), which is the sign of low coverage of vaccination the region, it was learnt.

The government in collaboration with partners successfully halted the outbreak. There are not any cases right now, State Minister said.

Rotary International Country Representative to Ethiopia, Tigist Yilma said the organization has been working with the government of Ethiopia to make the country free from polio, particularly in the pastoral areas.

Appreciation the firm commitment of Ethiopia in polio eradication, she called upon the government to sustain its achievements into circulating vaccine derived-polio, which was recently erupted in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

There are about 90 cases of polio recently reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan, she said, adding that “we are working with the government of Ethiopia to make sure that such cases will not be erupted in the country.”

In 1996, Ethiopia joined the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) which was set up in 1988.

In the Ethiopia health care system, immunization is provided free of charge and services are available from the smallest health post level to the highest hospitals.