By Patricia Keamo, EMTV Cadet Journalist – Port Moresby
Since the outbreak of polio in April last year, the National Department of Health has been working with major partners, WHO and UNICEF in conducting awareness and immunisations in the country.
Speaking to EMTV News, an officer of the Expanded Program for Immunisation, Dr Mathias Bauri, says so far five nation-wide and subnational polio campaigns have been conducted. Dr Bauri gave a brief update on the country’s polio vaccination statistics.
Apart from the statistics, Dr Bauri also highlighted some of the challenges faced during the vaccination rounds and advocacy. Amongst the challenges was reaching rural substations and villages, as some health workers had to walk for days as it was not accessible by vehicle and funding unable to cover air transport for health workers.
Dr Bauri stated that the biggest challenge for the workers was geography, as some health centres are located in isolated areas that only air transport can reach.