Monday, May 24, 2010

WHO Briefing on Polio Virus

As 45 New Cases Reported in the African Region

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB) -The World Health Organisation (WHO) office in Banjul, today held a maiden press briefing in view of the growing thread of the wild polio virus within the sub-region.
Journalists were drawn from both print and electronic media across the country. The office of the WHO Representatives organised a briefing to keep journalists abreast of the latest developments and what can be done collectively to address the situation in The Gambia, Africa and at global level, as 45 new cases reported in the African region.
“Today a total of (45) forty-five new cases are reported to the WHO, in which nine countries confirmed cases are in the African region as at 14th May 2010″. This was announced by the WHO Representative in The Gambia, Dr. Thomas Sukwa.

According to him, no confirmed polio case is confirmed in The Gambia since 2005 but was quick to say that the government and its development partners need to continue their vigilant in their quest to maintain the country polio free status.
Sukwa used the briefing to thanked the government of The Gambia for its commitment to maintain polio free status noting that WHO would remains committed to continue supporting government efforts in the health sector.
WHO Rep. revealed that Senegal top the list in West Africa when it comes to polio cases with seventeen cases, followed by Chad twelve, Mauritian and Angola four, Nigeria three, Niger two, Mali, and Sierra Leone one cases respectively.
On the situation in The Gambia, WHO Boss stated that routine oral polio vaccine is high with 94 percent in 2007, but drops in 2008 with 93 and goes up in 2009 with 97 percent, while calling on the government to push up to 100 percent.
For The Gambia, he attested that their surveillance is ongoing process and their National Immunization Days (NIDs) is 98 percent during the second round that was held in March and 95 percent during the first round in April, which he said is positive.
He announced that the third round of immunization will be held from 28 to 31 May 2010 countrywide. “The third round, we are targeting 381,134 children country-wide against polio virus”, said Dr. Sukwa.
He explained that the persons administering the vaccine will move from house to house innoculate all children in the Gambia against polio.
He called on all parents to make sure that all children of 0 to 5 years old are not missed by the vaccinators.
For the media, he called on them to support public sensitization campaigns, be writing feature articles and dedicate columns to the fight against polio amongst others.

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