Polio: WHO to Vaccinate 23m Children in 5 African Countries

World Health Organisation on Friday announced that 80 million doses of vaccines against Polio will be given to twenty-three million children across five African countries.

The countries penciled down for the vaccination programme are Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

Malawi’s declaration of a Polio outbreak on the 17th of February has necessitated the vaccination programme across  African countries. It was the first time in three decades that a case of wild Polio was recorded in the country.

There has been no incidence of the virus in Africa since 2020 with the situation in Malawi raising an alarm across the continent. 

“In support of Malawi and its neighbours, we are acting fast to halt this outbreak and extinguish the threat through effective vaccinations” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for Africa for the WHO said.

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“The African region has already defeated wild poliovirus due to a monumental effort by countries. We have the know-how and are tirelessly working to ensure that every child lives and thrives in a continent free of polio” the director said.

The vaccination programme will be done in phases with the first targeting 9.4m children in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique.

Subsequent rounds involving Zimbabwe will see the Bivalent Oral Vaccine being used as recommended by the WHO for the wild poliovirus (type 1). 

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