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Polio vaccination: UN agencies take campaign to Somalia

Jun 28, 2019
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have called on Somalian citizens to vaccinate their children against polio.
The call came against the backdrop of a polio campaign currently on in Puntland and Somaliland to vaccinate more than 940 000 children under five years of age to stop the outbreak of the polio virus.
According to information retrieved from WHO’s website, the campaign targets all children in 12 districts in Somaliland and nine districts in Puntland.
The organisation noted that 15 children had been infected since the current polio outbreak began.
“No fewer than 945 480 children are to be vaccinated.
” 15 children have been infected with the polio viruses so far, since outbreaks began.
“Somaliland, Puntland and other states in Somalia are currently experiencing outbreaks of II strains of poliovirus,” WHO revealed.
It noted that, though the viruses were not wild poilo, they could infect and paralyse children with low immunity.
It stated, “each strain requires a different vaccine, and children need several doses of each vaccine to boost immunity.
“Even though these viruses are not wild polio virus, both these circulating strains can infect and paralyse children with low immunity.
“It’s vital that parents ensure their children receive this vaccine because it builds immunity against a specific strain of polio virus circulating in the country.
Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative for Somalia, reportedly urged parents and guardians to ensure that all children were available for the exercise in the country.
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