By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Port Moresby
A total of 3.2 million children, under 15 years of age, are targeted to be vaccinated through the nationwide polio vaccination campaign.
The campaign was launched in Port Moresby today (October 1), by Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu, and is expected to last for 2 weeks, within which two rounds of vaccination will be conducted throughout the 22 provinces.
Through the nationwide campaign, the polio mass vaccination campaign will now be extending to all the 22 provinces of the country while emergency operation centers have already been set up in each province.
Parents and guardians throughout the provinces are advised to visit these centers to get their children vaccinated.
The number of polio cases now stands at fourteen. One case, a six-year-old boy in Enga, is confirmed to be dead while the other 13, have reached the paralysis stage. As we speak, surveillance teams are out in the affected provinces to keep track of confirmed cases.
World Health Organization and UNICEF have so far had support from 70 international organizations and countries through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The Australian Government announced a support of K24million towards this campaign and promised ongoing support for the course.
National Polio Emergency Response Coordinator Dr. Sibauk Bieb said the nationwide campaign will start straight away.
The government has so far assisted the Polio mass vaccination campaign with K2million and Dr B.ieb is hopeful for more funding.
9,000 health workers will be engaged in the nationwide campaign. Minister Puka Temu is appealing to community leaders to make sure the environment is safe for these workers.