By Patricia Keamo – EMTV Cadet Journalist, Port Moresby
While much has been said about the importance of getting all children vaccinated, there is also a need for people to know that poor sanitation can lead to the contraction of polio. A survey conducted by UNICEF shows that most schools and health facilities around the country do not have proper toilets.
With polio being contracted through the faecal-oral route, sanitation is a challenge in the fight against polio. Not only in schools and health facilities but in homes and villages, people are still using semi-permanent and pit toilets. Without the proper disposal of faecal wastes and access to clean water, children who are not vaccinated are at a high risk of contracting polio.
As the fight against polio continues, people also need to understand that poor sanitation is a link to the contraction of polio. UNICEF WASH Specialist, Pravin More, says it is important for children’s faecal wastes to be disposed of properly as well as keeping toilets clean.
With polio transmitted through the faecal-oral route, prevention measures should be taken especially when handling food and drinking water. The general public is advised not to buy food or eat food that is not prepared properly especially sold by street vendors.
Proper sanitation and access to clean water is a huge challenge for the country in this fight against polio.