Neno DHO to Roll Out 5th Oral Polio Vaccination Campaign
Health authorities at Neno district hospital say they plan to roll out the 5th Oral Polio vaccination campaign from 12 to 15 July this year using door to door strategy.
Paul Mendulo from the DHO on Wednesday, told the District Executive Committee (DEC) members that this is so because the district borders Mozambique where there are 30 active cases of the virus hence putting Neno at a higher risk.
"Although we have not registered any case of the disease, it is important to vaccinate the children since we share a border with Mozambique where there are active cases, more than 30", said Mendulo.
He also noted that some districts like Blantyre and Chiradzulu registered such cases hence they cannot rule out a possibility of resurfacing of the disease in other districts.
Mendulo further says that they plan to vaccinate 84 thousand children of age range 15-0 in Neno within the slated days with support from UNICEF and WHO.
However, the health authorities have blamed chiefs for lack of interest to participate in the campaign citing lack of incentives as a major contributing factor hence calling for well-wishers to help with more funds for the same.
For example, vaccinators receive K2,500 per day for travel expenses which is not enough looking at Neno's traveling costs due to its topography.
Facilitators get K10,000 per day. A mention was also made of lack of vehicles to ferry the vaccines to hard to reach areas hence asking well-wishers to help in that area.
Meanwhile, school management has been asked to help in mobilising their learners of the said age to get vaccinated saying the vaccine is not injectable one but rather oral.
The disease control team has also lamented lack of enough influential people like Chief, politicians, pastors and the business community among others who have shown interest to help in the campaign.
"We have only 69 of such people and we still need an additional of 150 or so to reach many people with the campaign as emerging pandemics which needed vaccines affected the overall outcome of the Polio Vaccination Campaign", said Mendulo.
But in response, Neno District Council Director of Development and Planning Charles Lomoni assured the DHO delegation that the council will help in sourcing the lacking issues.
"You have our blessing to carry the exercise and people here let's support them with what we can while our office will do its best to see to it that the exercise is successful", commented the DPD.
District Environmental Health officer Margret Mikwamba has appealed to parents, guardians and all responsible citizens to encourage each other to have their wards vaccinated saying the vaccine has no side effects and its benefits are enormous to the development of their children.
Children who have not received the vaccine in their tender ages get paralysed for good if struck with the virus, putting their future in limbo and a permanent burden on their parents.