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The Ngami District Health Management Team (DHMT) has called on parents and care givers to ensure that all children aged 7 and below receive the oral polio vaccine during the polio eradication campaign that was recently launched.
The first round of the campaign resumed this past Thursday and is scheduled to end on Sunday while the second round will start from the 30th of March to the 2nd of April. Two doses of the polio vaccine will be administered to children aged 7 and below either at their respective homes or in schools.
Addressing members of the press recently, Ngami DHMT coordinator Sandra Maripe explained that the new initiative of taking their services to the homesteads and schools is because some children are more likely not to go to the clinics for the vaccine.
The coordinator added that the new initiative is also implemented to avoid congestion at clinics which is among factors leading to the spread of communicable diseases.
Maripe said this time they want to ensure that each and every child is given the vaccine. To avoid double vaccination of the children, she indicated that they will use a special type of a marker on the children’s fingers after vaccination as an indication that they have taken the vaccine either at home or at school.
Maripe further explained that parents and caregivers will undergo counselling, and be sensitized about the importance of the vaccine as some may not allow their children to be inoculated.
“The 2nd round of the campaign will be conducted end of March till the 2nd of April to ensure that every child has received the vaccine, the aim is to vaccinate each and every child,” Maripe stressed.
For her part, Senior Health Education Officer Thutego Ramodutlwa explained that polio virus is spread through feacal waste and warned about its dangers as it causes paralysis and in worst cases even death when the patient’s breathing muscles become immobilized.
According to her, there is no cure for paralytic polio which is the reason why they emphasise that every child must get the vaccine. Ramodutlwa assured that the oral vaccine has no side effects and does not cause any allergic reactions.
She however encouraged parents not to hesitate seeking medical interventions should a child show any side effects after taking the oral dose.