Tanzania has launched its second immunization program to combat the wild poliovirus. UNICEF, GPEI, WHO, and other health partners have committed to continue providing technical and coordinating assistance in Tanzania.
The additional mass immunization campaign will take place throughout the country’s 195 districts from May 18 to 21, 2022, to vaccinate 10,576,805 children under the age of five. The initial phase of the program, which ran from March 24 to 27, 2013, targeted approximately a million children in four border regions of Malawi: Mbeya, Njombe, Ruvuma, and Songwe.
The Honorable Ummy Mwalimu (MP), Minister of Health for the Mainland, asked parents and caregivers from around Tanzania to welcome vaccine providers into their homes during the campaign’s four-day beginning in Dodoma, Tanzania’s capital.
Politicians, religious leaders, and top government officials from the Ministries of Health, Gender, the Elderly, and Special Groups were among those present. Moms who had their children ready to be vaccinated also attended the ceremony.
According to the event’s guest of honor, a National Polio Social Behavior Change Communication Strategy would guide efforts to improve awareness, knowledge, and demand for polio vaccination.
His Excellency Vice President Honorable Hemed S Abdalla presided over the inauguration event for the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and partners, encouraging parents to invite vaccine providers and ensuring that every child under the age of five in the Isles was vaccinated throughout the four-day campaign.
When a polio outbreak is declared, certain preventive measures, such as immunization of all children under the age of five in the affected country and nearby countries, must be implemented to meet WHO requirements. “We are grateful to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and donors who supported this critical activity in keeping Tanzania polio-free,” stated Tanzania’s Acting WHO Representative in Tanzania, Dr. Zabulon Yoti.
On February 17, a case of wild poliovirus was discovered in a small child in Malawi, and the country proclaimed an epidemic. This was the first incidence of indigenous wild poliovirus in Africa since the continent was proclaimed polio-free in 2020. According to the WHO, a new case of polio has been recorded in Mozambique. As of this writing, no wild polio has been discovered in Africa.
A huge immunization campaign to protect millions of children from the poliovirus has begun with aid from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Despite a very sensitive polio surveillance system, Tanzania was declared polio-free in 2015, years after the last case was confirmed. The most effective strategy to prevent a polio epidemic is to immunize all children. Thanks to the country’s high rate of oral polio immunization, Tanzania has not had a single case of polio since 1996.
Issa Amri Shauri was diagnosed with polio when he was three years old in the Mtwara region of southern Tanzania, where he now resides. He has trouble working and walking great distances due to the paralysis of one leg.
In addition to assisting with vaccine development, WHO has enhanced its polio environmental surveillance in support of disease eradication. Environmental surveillance had previously been carried out at four distinct locations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Experts have already established that nine new locations are viable and are ready to go.
A continent-wide environmental monitoring effort was originally planned to be done in 46 nations, according to the Global Polio Eradication Program. Following Malawi’s lead, the continental monitoring program has now been expanded to cover more stations across all nations.