By Jonathan Abass Kamara
The National Polio Round three campaign targeting children 0-59 months has ended on Monday October 3, 2016.
Cross section of mothers
Addressing the National launching ceremony at the Grey Bush Community Health Centre in Freetown, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Madam Madina Rahman underscored the importance for all children 0-59 months to be immunized to avoid disability and stigmatization.
She noted the efforts made by government and partners to eradicate the disease, and advocated for more efforts to make Sierra Leone a polio free country.
As a government together with their partners, Madam Rahman said they have made available the vaccine free of cost and encouraged parents to positively support the campaign by getting their children immunized.
She encouraged nurses and other health workers involved in the campaign to be committed, adding that government is poised to ensure that every child is safe and protected from preventable illnesses and deaths.
The UNICEF Deputy Representative Sandra Lattouf reiterated the need for all children less than five years to be reached and vaccinated.
She congratulated the Ministry of Health and the country for achieving 95 percent successful coverage in the February and April 2016 rounds of polio campaign.
The task, she noted cannot be achieved without high political commitment, continued collaboration among all partners, and the support of the population.
Madam Sandra observed that 1.5 million children under five years of age have been targeted as beneficiaries from the immunization against polio, adding that the UN Family is once again proud to be part of the campaign led by the Health and Sanitation Ministry to eradicate polio. Children less than two years old who missed the routine immunization were identified and immunized with the respective vaccines during the campaign.
Madam Madina Rahman administering the Polio vaccine
“By vaccinating children against polio and providing them with routine immunization as per schedule, we are laying the foundation for a healthy and strong nation”, the Deputy UNICEF Representative said.
Other highlights include remarks from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai, the District Medical Officer Western Area, Rev. Dr. Thomas Samba, an overview of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) by the Manager, National EPI/Child Health Programme, Dr. Dennis Marke, administering of the polio by the Deputy Minister and other dignitaries and skit performance by comedian, Vamboi and team. PHOTO: Credit Kadrie Koroma.