Tanzania surpasses the national target for polio vaccination

Tanzania has completed the second round of supplemental polio vaccination and reached a total of 12,131,049 children against a target of 10,295,316 equivalent to 117.8%. The second round of supplemental polio vaccination is part of four rounds of synchronized campaigns aimed at prevent possibility of the spread of polio in countries bordering Malawi and Mozambique that have each reported a case of wild polio in February and April this year respectively.

In Tanzania the second round covered all 195 districts and ran from 18-21st May. With support from Bill and Melinda Foundation and Rotary International, the World Health Organization provided technical support to the campaign through training of campaign supervisors at national level to district level, supervision and monitoring of the campaign, management of campaign data.

“We got support from high level leaders down to grassroots in mobilizing people to invite vaccinators in their households. Because of the positive response from leadership and the community, we have not experienced challenges related to negative response,” said Dr. Florian Tinuga, Incident Manager of the polio campaign.

Intensified community mobilization contributed to making 98% percent of target households aware of the second round and therefore receptive to vaccinators that were visiting their homes and other places where under-fives are found.

In the order of merit, social mobilisers were considered the first sources of information about the campaign, followed by radio and television and religious leaders.

The national launch of second round, officiated by the Minister of Health, Honorable Ummy Mwalimu, was televised live from the capital Dodoma and ran concurrently with regional, district and community launch on the first day of the campaign. By the end of the first day 29 percent of the target was attained.

“We are grateful for the commitment showed by vaccinators, mobilisers, enumerators, supervisors and high levels to the objective of reaching every under five in this country. The same level of commitment is critical for the two rounds ahead of us,” said Dr. Zabulon Yoti, WHO Tanzania Acting Country Representative.

Based on the results of the completed second round, it is expected that the third round and fourth round are going to be equally successful, considering that 100% of households where vaccinators visited are informed of that a third and fourth round of supplemental polio vaccination is on the way.

For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:

Dr. William Mwengee

Email: mwengeew@who.int

Tel: +255 754 886441

Mkama Mwijarubi

Communications and Media Officer
WHO Country Office, United Republic of Tanzania
Tel:+255 22 2111718/2113005
Mobile:+255 743 958599
Email: mwijarubim@who.int