Tanzania: Second round of polio vaccines well received in Tanzania

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According to a report from the national campaign coordination center in Dodoma, the second round of polio vaccination exercises which ended on Saturday would have been well received in many parts of the country.

According to the head of the national immunization program, Dr. Florian Tinuga, on the third day of vaccination, 92% of the targeted vaccinated children had been reached.

This second phase of the campaign was launched by Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu for Mainland Tanzania and for Zanzibar by Vice President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla on May 18 this year.

The goal of the second cycle of the polio vaccination campaign is to provide polio vaccines to 10,576,805 children in all 195 districts of Tanzania.

“We have received positive feedback from our leaders ranging from national, regional, district to village level.

Due to the positive response from the people and the cooperation with the leadership, we have not encountered any problems resulting from a negative response,” Dr Tinuga said.

He said that on the first day of vaccination they had reached 28% of the target population and on the second day 61% of the target had been reached.

“We hope that when the vaccination is finished today (yesterday), we can exceed the target.

Vaccination target estimates are based on census data, so often due to population increases, we get more than the estimated number, apart from the fact that in border villages, children from neighboring countries can also be vaccinated,” Dr Tinuga said.

Exercise success has also been enhanced with a digital data entry system that allows the house-to-house vaccination team to enter data into a mobile system and the data is immediately available to field coordinators. national center of Dodoma.

“The availability of timely data allowed us to be informed in real time of the movements of each vaccination team in each village and the functioning of the supervisors.

Therefore, we can respond to challenges in real time,” said Dr William Mwengee, Head of the Immunization and Vaccine Development Team at the World Health Organization’s office in Tanzania.

The system also allows coordinators to ensure that each vaccination team operates daily, the location of the vaccination team and the number of children expected in the area.

Tanzania and other countries bordering Malawi and Mozambique have launched polio vaccination campaigns to ensure children are fully protected after both countries reported polio cases.

Africa was awarded a certificate for polio eradication in 2020.

To complete lifelong protection against poliomyelitis, every child under the age of five needs to be vaccinated four times.

The third and fourth phases of polio vaccination will be planned and continued later this year.

Meanwhile, a total of 132,914 children under the age of five received door-to-door polio vaccines in Muleba district, Kagera region.

Muleba District Immunization Coordinator Mrs Christine Mlemi said the exercise was going smoothly and she was optimistic about the increase in numbers.

She called on parents and guardians to ensure no child is left behind, adding that the beatings were safe.

Kagera Regional Immunization and Vaccination Officer (RIVO), Mr. Zablon Segeyu, explained that the campaign will reach about 637,702 children under five in the eight communes of Muleba, Bukoba DC, Biharamulo, Ngara , Bukoba MC, Karagwe, Kyerwa and Mis-Senyi.

Launching the campaign, Zanzibar’s second vice president, Hemed Suleiman Abdullah, tasked the Ministry of Health with assessing the threat level of polio on the islands.

“As we join hands to immunize our children under five, we need to know the level of polio in our country,” Mr Abdulla said as he officiated the launch of the first cycle of vaccination campaign against polio to boost immunity in children.

According to the islands’ Ministry of Health, the polio vaccination campaign which was carried out from May 18 to Saturday aimed to cover at least 276,602 children in the islands of Unguja and Pemba, the objective is to leave no child behind in the campaign supported by WHO, UNICEF and GAVI.

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