Africa (Times Of Ocean)- A mass vaccination campaign will immunize 23 million children in five African nations against polio following an outbreak in Malawi.
Malawi reported the first wild poliovirus case in 30 years and the first in Africa in five years in February.
According to a UNICEF statement, an immunization drive began on Sunday in Malawi and will continue on Thursday in neighboring Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
In the first round, over 9 million children will be targeted in the four countries.
Zimbabwe will participate in three more rounds in April, June and July, the WHO Regional Office for Africa announced earlier this week.
UNICEF, the WHO, and other partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are supporting the campaigns.
According to Mohamed M. Fall, UNICEF’s regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, “everything must be done to stop the virus in its tracks.”.
“A regional response is vital as polio is extremely contagious and can spread easily as people move across borders. There is no cure for polio, but the vaccine protects children for life,” he added.
More than 36 million doses of polio vaccine have been purchased by UNICEF for the first two rounds of immunizations in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, according to a UNICEF statement.