Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique will join Malawi in the second round of a regional mass polio vaccine for children under the age of five beginning at the end of April.
Saumya Anand, UNICEF’s eastern and southern Africa regional coordinator for polio, told newsmen last week that the trans-border vaccination will start on April 21.
“The subsequent campaign planned in April will be nationwide in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia and is expected to reach over 20 million children in total,” Ms Anand said.
She stated that the initial wave of immunisations targeted nine million children last month, but that owing to unforeseeable storms in Malawi, there were delays.
The first round was initiated in February, following news that a three-year-old child in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, had been paralyzed by wild poliovirus.
“Africa has witnessed the first case of wild polio after a lapse of half of a decade and Unicef in collaboration with governments, the World Health Organisation and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative among other partners are attempting to stop the virus in its tracks,” Ms Anand said.
On March 21, News Central reported that an emergency polio vaccination began in Malawi following the detection of its first case in 30 years.
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