Ethiopia Launches Polio Vaccination Campaign

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Addis Ababa  October  22/2021 (ENA ) Ethiopia has launched a nationwide polio vaccination campaign in the middle of the commemoration of World Polio Day today.

In a joint statement WHO-UNICEF-ROTARY issued in connection with World Polio Day, they reaffirmed their commitment to continue delivering on the promise of a polio-free world for current and future generations.

In 1988, the world committed to eradicating wild polio virus, and at present five out of the six WHO regions are certified free of wild polio virus with wild polio virus reported only from two endemic countries — Afghanistan and Pakistan.  

On 25 August 2020, the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for Polio Eradication officially declared that the WHO African Region that constitutes 47 member states is free of wild poliovirus.

According to the joint statement, though 99.9 per cent of polio has been wiped out with oral polio vaccine other forms of the virus continue to circulate in rare cases when not enough children are reached.

To overcome this, Ethiopia has launched a nationwide polio vaccination campaign today with the nationwide polio vaccination campaign targeting over 17 million under-five children to help end the circulation of all forms of polio virus, the statement added.

The campaign will be conducted in all regions of the country from October 22 to 25, it was learned.

Vaccinators will move from house to house for this campaign and will also use temporary fixed sites in camps for internally displaced people (IDP camps) and transit areas.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has put gains on polio eradication and other broader health goals at risk, lessons learnt from years of implementing the polio program will not only help sustain the significant progress made but also contribute to containing the pandemic and strengthening health systems to withstand similar threats, according to the statement.

It further noted that the impressive progress in Ethiopia would not have been possible without the leadership of the Ministry of Health, the commitment of frontline workers and the generous support of polio partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, CCRDA/CORE Group and other immunizations partners.