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500: Millions targeted in Angola, West Africa NIDs

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  • sunilkzach
    Millions targeted in Angola, West Africa NIDs The month of July saw increased polio immunization activities in several African countries where the disease is
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2002
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      Millions targeted in Angola, West Africa NIDs

      The month of July saw increased polio immunization activities in
      several African countries where the disease is still endemic. A
      second round of synchronized National Immunization Days (NIDs) was
      launched on 25 July in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon,
      and the Atlantic Ocean island nation of Sao Tome & Principe. The
      first round took place in mid-June.

      The latest effort is especially crucial in Angola, which is taking
      advantage of a peace dividend to reach all unvaccinated children in
      areas that were inaccessible before the end in April of a brutal
      civil war. In the country's capital of Luanda, more than 1 million
      children were targeted. The exercise was carried out by 389 teams of
      vaccinators, made up of nearly 5,000 volunteers and health workers.

      Coinciding with the four-nation joint NIDs was a nationwide
      immunization effort in the Republic of Congo (ROC), aimed
      specifically
      at forestalling a possible polio outbreak in the country's Pool
      region, an outcome that could have undermined the initiative in
      neighboring Angola, DR Congo, and Gabon. Close to 700,000 children
      received the oral polio vaccine in the ROC event.

      Meanwhile, in the West African countries of Niger and neighboring
      Burkina Faso, where no case of polio was reported in four years, a
      joint emergency campaign will be under way in August to immunize more
      than 500,000 children age 5 and under.

      The decision to launch the special effort was prompted by the
      discovery of a case of polio in northern Burkina Faso, imported from
      Niger, one of 10 countries in the world where wild poliovirus still
      exists. World Health Organization officials said this week that their
      investigations confirmed that a child had left Niger already infected
      and visited a health center in Burkina Faso seeking treatment.

      "We were in the phase in which a country that has not had a case for
      a given number of years can be declared free of polio," WHO's Chantal
      Kambire said in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. "But one
      case can jeopardize all efforts and gains made so far."

      On 1-7 August, vaccinators and volunteers will fan out across
      districts on both sides of the border in the region where the polio
      case was reported. More immunizations will be conducted until the
      area is rid of the poliovirus.

      As part of its support for polio eradication efforts worldwide, The
      Rotary Foundation has to date contributed the following amounts
      toward immunization activities in the countries mentioned above:
      Angola, more than US$6.8 million; Burkina Faso, more than $1.9
      million; Republic of Congo, more than $1.2 million; Democratic
      Republic of Congo, more than $12.2 million; Gabon, more than
      $200,000; Niger, more than $2 million; and Sao Tome & Principe, more
      than $85,000.

      Courtesy: Rotary Newsbasket
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