7.5 million Ivorian children for polio vaccination

posted in: Africa

Photo: Kevin Frayer/Associated Press/em>


Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire- More than 7.5 million Ivorian children, aged 0-5 years, will be vaccinated against polio when the third round of the nation’s national immunization programme begins on Friday, according to health officials here Wednesday.

For the third time this year, the children to be vaccinated will receive two drops of the oral polio vaccine, vitamin A supplement and a deworming tablet.

The campaign, like the previous two rounds, is organized by the Ivorian government with the support of the International Coalition for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC, Atlanta) and the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF).

To support the Ivorian government during the programme, scheduled for 25-28 October across the country, the partners have mobilized 222 technicians and national and international experts in the fight against the polio.

Côte d’Ivoire has since the last outbreak in 2011, conducted 13 immunization campaigns with a little more than seven million children, under five, vaccinated in each round.

According to the sosurces, the campaigns have contributed to stopping the transmission of wild poliovirus in the country as no cases of wild polio virus has been detected since July 2011.

The immunization campaigns are held in 14 of the 17 countries covered by the WHO in West Africa. Algeria, Cape Verde and Nigeria do not take part in the programme.

Since its launch in 1988, on the occasion of the World Health Assembly, the GPEI has accounted for the reduction in the global incidence of polio by more than 99 percent and the number of endemic countries from 125 to 3.