August 18, 2016

MOH to launch mass polio vaccination campaign in Dec

The Ministry of Health will conduct a polio vaccination campaign in 102 townships across Myanmar, targeting 1.4 million children under 5 years of age.
The campaign, which is supported by the World Health Organization-WHO and UNICEF is scheduled to launch in early December with rounds of vaccination planned across 15 high risks townships in Rakhine and Chin State, Magway, Bago and Ayeyawady Regions.
The first three rounds of this campaign — scheduled on 5-7 December, 26-28 December and 16-18 January — will target all children under five in these 15 high risk townships across the country.
Two additional rounds of polio immunisation will be conducted in another 87 townships in January-February 2016.  Earlier this year, two cases of vaccine-derived polio virus infection were reported amongst children in Maungtaw Township, Rakhine State, according to a press release from UNICEF.
The emergence of such cases of vaccine-derived polio virus is due to low immunisation coverage. In fact, the routine immunisation coverage in Rakhine state has been below 80% for the last several years.
In 2014, some of the State’s townships only27% of children received the three recommended doses of oral polio vaccine.
The most effective way to stop the circulation of this virus is to increase the immunity of children through increased routine immunisation coverage.  The Ministry of Health will also introduce the use of Inactivated Polio Vaccine across the country, which will further reduce the risks of vaccine-derived outbreaks.
In total, more than 3.8 million doses of oral polio vaccine will be provided to reach 1.4 million children under five years old.
The South East Asian Region, including Myanmar, was declared polio-free in 2014.


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