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Following Discovery Of Polio Virus Type 2, Gambia Schedules Mass Vaccination Campaign

Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh
Gambia’s Health Minister

The Gambia scheduled
13th to 16th November for a  nationwide vaccination campaign against polio, following resurgence of the infection in August.

“Following the discovery of Polio Virus Type 2 in August 2021, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners hereby informs the public that it will embark on a nationwide Mass Vaccination Campaign against Polio. The campaign is slated from the 13th to 16th November 2021.

“Vaccination teams and Social Mobilizers will be moving from house to house, health facilities, market places, ferry and border crossing points to vaccinate children between 0 and 59 months (Under 5 years) with two drops of the Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV).

“In the Gambia, Vaccination remains a top priority in the Ministry of Health agenda, thus all children under five must be vaccinated for the country to maintain the polio free status. In this regard, the Ministry of Health calls for all families and caregivers, community leaders and religious leaders to support this campaign by ensuring all eligible children get vaccinated in their houses and communities.

“The continuous effort of the Ministry of Health in the fight against Polio is a great achievement. The success registered in the past campaigns proves that there have been massive undertakings from the community, partners and government thus, suggesting that high or comprehensive coverage is possible.

“It is therefore, hope that the launch of this new campaign will keep Gambian Children safe from polio and strengthen our health care system, therefore the continuous support and cooperation of the public is hereby solicited,” the Ministry of Health announced in a statement on Monday.

Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5 percent of cases, it moves from the gut to affect the central nervous system, and there is muscle weakness resulting in a flaccid paralysis. This can occur over a few hours to a few days, according to research.

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