Health authorities have expressed optimism on a successful implementation of the third-round polio vaccine administration.
Government is conducting a polio vaccine campaign targeting all under five children in Malawi after registering a case in Lilongwe in February this year.
Meanwhile in Neno district the third round commenced well however there were some refusals from few parents with Kondwani Chitembeya EPI Coordinator for the district attributing the challenge to people confusing the vaccine with Covid 19 vaccine.
“We have had two successful rounds and we are very optimistic this time around we will meet the target as we are targeting 25, 336 under five children. We engaged local leaders to assist with community mobilization to ensure no targeted child is left behind”. said Chitembeya
For Mwanza district, 25,415 under five children are being targeted in the campaign.
EPI Coordinator for Mwanza district-Pilirani Kanjoka-told MIJ Online that so far, the campaign has been successful for the past two rounds that had already been rolled out due to constant engagement with communities.
For Esther Jailosi, from Chifenthe village T/A Dambe in Neno district, the polio vaccine campaign is a sigh of relief as this means her one-year old son is protected from a disease that might cause her disablement when affected.
“We were told that Polio disease can cause disability, that is why when they Came to my house to administer the vaccine to my child I accepted willingly, because I want to protect my child from polio.” Explained Jailosi
Meanwhile UNICEF is supporting the roll out of polio vaccine campaign in Malawi.
Phidelis Suwedi-Technology for Development Specialist for UNICEF-said for the first time, health surveillance officers were provided with electronic tablets for timely and efficient data recording.
“UNICEF distributed 11 thousand phones to all HSAs across the country and the main objective is to facilitate real time monitoring to ensure that we are able to get data and understand how the campaign is going in real time and make timely decisions”. He said
Ministry of Health will administer four doses of the oral polio vaccine to all under five children across the country and so far, three out of four doses have been administered.