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Polio Vaccination Campaign launched due to virus trace detection

The Ministry of Health, in conjunction with neighboring countries in the sub-region, has undertaken a pivotal initiative to combat the propagation of polio by implementing a mass vaccination campaign involving 1.8 million doses of the polio vaccine. This was announced at an press Conference held at the Emergency Operations Center office at Wilkinson Road, on Wednesday 8th May 2024.

The objective of this essential endeavor is to immunize 1.5 million children under the age of five, thereby safeguarding them against the debilitating effects of the virus.

Earlier this year, health authorities made a disconcerting discovery when traces of the polio virus were detected in the sewage of the densely populated community of Mabela in Freetown. In response to this alarming situation, the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Agency promptly elevated their emergency response to level two, indicating the highest level of medical urgency.

Through a collaborative effort encompassing six nations—Sierra Leone, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Liberia—a mass inoculation campaign targeting ninety million children under the age of five has been simultaneously launched. The SBC Lead of UNICEF, Cinty Thai Thieny Nghiah, reaffirmed the organization's unwavering support for this large-scale vaccination endeavor, emphasizing the necessity for concerted efforts to curb the spread of the virus and ultimately achieve its eradication.

Highlighting the significance of detecting the virus in local sewage as a harbinger of potential danger, Dr. Thomas Igbu, the WHO representative, underscored the heightened risk faced by the country. This collaboration among the six countries underscores the urgent need for collective action to address the threat posed by polio.

Dr. Mohamed Alex Vandi, Deputy Executive Director of the National Public Health Agency, commended the media for its pivotal role in shaping public perception and fostering behavior change conducive to supporting these critical vaccination efforts.


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