9 million children to be vaccinated against polio in Africa

Mar 22, 2022, 2:09 AM | Updated: Mar 23, 2022, 9:06 am

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A drive to vaccinate more than 9 million children against polio has been launched this week in four countries in southern and eastern Africa after an outbreak was confirmed in Malawi.

The urgent vaccination campaign has started in Malawi where drops of the inoculation are being placed in the mouths of children across the country, including in the capital, Lilongwe, and the country’s largest city, Blantyre.

The vaccination campaign will be expanded on Thursday to include the neighboring countries of Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, according to UNICEF which is working with the governments and other partners.

Three more rounds of vaccinations will follow in the coming months with a goal of reaching more than 20 million children.

“This is the first case of wild polio detected in Africa for more than five years and UNICEF is working closely with governments and partners to do everything possible to stop the virus in its tracks,” says Mohamed M. Fall, UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.

“Polio spreads fast and can kill or cause permanent paralysis,” he said.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are supporting governments with the vaccination drive after it was confirmed in February that a three-year-old girl was paralyzed by wild poliovirus in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

People most commonly contract polio when they drink water contaminated by the feces of someone who carries the virus. Children under the age of five and those living in areas with poor sanitation are most at risk.

“A regional response is vital as polio is extremely contagious and can spread easily as people move across borders,” says Mohamed M. Fall.

“There is no cure for polio, but the vaccine protects children for life. We are working with the World Health Organization and other partners to make sure parents, as well as community and religious leaders, know how important it is that every child receives their vaccine.”

UNICEF has procured more than 36 million doses of the polio vaccine for the first two rounds of the immunizations of children in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

In Malawi, UNICEF is installing 270 new vaccine refrigerators, repairing other refrigerators and distributing 800 remote temperature monitoring devices, vaccine carriers and cold boxes. In partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF has trained 13,500 health workers and volunteers, 34 district health promotion officers and 50 faith leaders.

In Mozambique, UNICEF has procured 2,500 vaccine carriers and has delivered 100 cold boxes and is assisting with the swift delivery of vaccines from national to provincial stores. UNICEF is also supporting the training of 33,000 supervisors and health workers on vaccine management and social and behavioral change, as well as training of journalists, distribution of communication materials and broadcasting radio and TV spots to support the polio campaign.

In Tanzania, UNICEF has trained more than 2,000 health workers, 5,128 social mobilizers and 538 town criers, and facilitated the procurement of 3,000 vaccine carriers and 360 cold boxes, expected to be delivered in April 2022 for use in the upcoming rounds of campaigns.

In Zambia, more than 200 trainers are coaching healthcare workers at the provincial and district level, with support from UNICEF and partners. District officials have been trained on polio surveillance, in partnership with the World Health Organization.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this April 4, 2017, file photo, fountains erupt along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. A...
Associated Press

Lawsuit: Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices. The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges […]
18 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that between 2017 and 2019, the overall […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Jury: $1M to Oregon woman told ‘I don’t serve Black people’

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded an Oregon woman $1 million in damages after finding she was discriminated against by a gas station employee who told her, “I don’t serve Black people.” The Multnomah County jury’s award this week to Portland resident Rose Wakefield, 63, included punitive damages of $550,000. Wakefield’s lawyer, Gregory […]
18 hours ago
FILE - The state of Texas execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas, is pictured on May 27, 2008. A gr...
Associated Press

Texas death row inmates sue over solitary confinement

HOUSTON (AP) — A group of death row inmates filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the Texas prison system over its policy of mandatory and indefinite solitary confinement for all prisoners who are awaiting execution, saying it causes severe physical and psychological harm. The suit alleges that the policy severely restricts their access to human […]
18 hours ago
FILE - The Hasbro logo is seen on April 26, 2018, in New York. Toymaker Hasbro said Thursday, Jan. ...
Associated Press

Toymaker Hasbro laying off 1,000 to cut costs

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Toymaker Hasbro said Thursday it is cutting about 1,000 jobs as part of moves announced last year to save up to $300 million annually by 2025. The nearly century-old Rhode Island-based company behind Monopoly, Play-Doh and My Little Pony toys said the layoffs amount to 15% of its global full-time workforce. […]
18 hours ago
Syringes with vaccines are prepared at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health P...
Associated Press

FDA’s advisers back plan to simplify COVID-19 vaccinations

The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus. The Food and Drug Administration asked its scientific advisers Thursday to help lay the groundwork for switching to once-a-year […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
9 million children to be vaccinated against polio in Africa