Monday, March 28, 2011
Nationwide polio campaign In Gambia
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)-The campaign for the 2011 on immunization against polio kicks start on March 25th till 28 March, 2011 at the Kanifing Municipal Council grounds, targets children from five years of age and below for the first round, while the second round is already slated from April 22-25, 2011.
Mrs. Fatim Badgie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, officially launched the 2011 campaign saying that the National Immunisation Days (NIDs) is one of the strategies of polio eradication initiative (PEI), which is an international initiative declared by the World Health Assembly in May 1988.
The Gambia, she said after four years of the declaration, lunched its own national PEI, the goal for which is the global eradication of Poliomyelitis with vaccination at base outreach clinics, active search for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and National Immunization Days.
She continued, The Gambia has made tremendous progress under the PEI noting that last year, there were five rounds of NIDs, all of which have registered coverage of more than 90 percent countrywide, she remarked.
Buttressing further, Badgie said the PEI programme is also aimed at reducing childhood morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable diseases, while recounting that the Gambia’s PEI is battling ten disease conditions. These include tuberculosis, whooping cough, tetanus, measles, yellow fever, haemophilus influenza among other diseases.
Dr. Thomas Sukwa, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in The Gambia said the country joins 15 others in West and Central Africa in this initiative. This synchronized exercise is aimed at consolidating the gains so far made and further prevent importation of polio in areas declared polio free.
He adds: “The Gambia was certified polio free in 2004 and since then no confirmed case of polio has been recorded,” he positioned.
For Yusupha Sanyang, pointed out that with fresh out breaks being reported in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the continent, it is prudent for us as a nation to intensify our efforts in eradicating the disease.