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Polio: New Nationwide Vaccination Campaign Announced for March 1-3

Polio: New Nationwide Vaccination Campaign Announced for March 1-3

Paru le mardi, 27 février 2024 13:49

The Ministry of Public Health has announced a nationwide polio response vaccination campaign, scheduled from March 1 to March 3. This campaign, the first round of the National Polio Vaccination Days for this year, will be synchronized with similar campaigns in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

According to Minister Manaouda Malachie, the campaign is part of a coordinated strategy among countries in the sub-region experiencing an epidemic of poliovirus derived from wild poliovirus, and those most at risk of importing cases of wild poliovirus. The campaign also aims to boost routine immunization coverage by reaching children aged 0 to 23 months who have missed one or more appointments on their usual immunization schedule.

The door-to-door vaccination campaign, which will take place in health facilities, schools, markets, chiefdoms, places of worship, and other places of gathering, targets more than 6 million children aged 0 to 5 in Cameroon. The goal is to enhance their collective immunity against all forms of poliomyelitis.

Poliomyelitis, a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects children under the age of five and can lead to paralysis or even death within hours, is still prevalent in Cameroon. Despite the country being certified free of wild poliovirus (WPV) in June 2020, other forms of circulating poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) derived from a vaccine strain continue to circulate, particularly in areas where children receive little or no vaccination.

By the end of 2023, Cameroon had detected two cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus, one in the Centre region and the other in the Far North. Dr. Brice Edzoa Essomba, Central Regional Coordinator of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), reported that these cases have not yet been addressed. Given the many cases of poliovirus detected in the Central African sub-region and the demonstrated links between these cases, the risk of importation remains high.

The new campaign aims to boost vaccination against the disease, for which there is no cure, and is part of Cameroon’s efforts to maintain its “polio-free” status. To preserve this status, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that the country maintain high levels of epidemiological surveillance and vaccination, including in insecure and hard-to-reach areas. Since then, Cameroon has intensified its efforts to eradicate polio.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

Dernière modification le mardi, 27 février 2024 13:52

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