From the 29 to the 31st of March 2019, children aged 0 – 5 years will be administered the oral polio vaccine alongside Vitamin A and Mebendazole (Deworming) in all health centers in the North West Region of Cameroon. It will be a door to door service and social mobilizers will visit churches, palaces, markets and other public places.
According to Dr Sama Julius, the regional coordinator for the technical group for EPI (Expanded Programme in Immunization), young children and old people are vulnerable to poliomyelitis because during these periods, their immune systems are weak.
“It is nationwide preventive campaign aimed at boosting the immunity of children and to ensure that all vulnerable groups especially internally displaced persons (children) receive these services. The campaign will also serve as an opportunity for children who have missed their routine vaccines because of they were displaced by the crisis to catch up with their routine immunization and it will help us carry out surveillance for measles, fellow yellow and polio” Added Dr Sama Julius.
It should be noted that poliomyelitis is a contagious disease, caused by a virus that attacks the limbs, weakens and paralyzes them for the rest of life. It has no cure but can be eradicated.
“Polio is deadly but we can fight it by vaccinating our children on every given occasion. Always wash our hands with clean running water and soap, before and after meals, and after using the toilet. Wash fruits and vegetable with clean water before eating. We should not defecate in open air, but use latrine or toilets and do not bathe in rivers or streams. Most importantly report all cases of sudden paralysis to the nearest health center.” Dr Sama explained.
It is vital for mothers to keep the vaccination record of their children to ensure proper monitoring of the protection of children against deadly or crippling diseases preventable by vaccination.
Maikem Emmanuela Manzie