Polio vaccination targets 170,000 in NCD

Polio vaccination for National Capital District will commence on Monday September 24th targeted at vaccinating over 170 thousand children from birth to 15 years of age.

The vaccination sites includes schools, health centres, markets, bus-stops and other designated sites.

Since the confirmation of the first polio case on September 6th in a 6 year old boy residing at 5-mile settlement, a provincial polio emergency operations centre was activated and has been managing the day-to-day outbreak response.

So far 5097 children from the 5-mile settlement aged from 0 to 15 have received polio vaccination.

The vaccination campaign will be extended to the entire city with the first round set to commence on September 24th to October 8th and the second round scheduled for October 22nd to November 4th.

“Polio is a very dangerous disease that causes paralysis or even death in non-vaccinated children. There is no cure for polio and this can only be prevented by taking the polio vaccine multiple times” re-emphasized Dr Morimai Ipai, Coordinator of the Polio Emergency Operations Centre for NCD.

Parents and guardians are guaranteed that the Oral Polio Vaccine is safe, effective and will be administered for free at the designated sites.  

The National Department of Health is urging all parents to ensure their children are vaccinated against polio to stop further transmission.

“We call on parents to bring your children up to 15 years of age for vaccination, irrespective of previous immunization status” appealed Dr Ipai.

To support the local manpower, 70 international experts have been deployed with additional personnel on their way to the country to support the campaign.

“The World Health Organization remains committed to fighting polio outbreak alongside PNG Government and other partners” reaffirmed Dr Anup Gurung, WHO Officer in Charge.

Carolyne Ure