Emergency polio vaccination campaign gets under way in Malawi

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An emergency polio vaccination campaign is already under way in Malawi following the detection of its first case in 30 years.

The campaign will target nearly three million children under five years old in Malawi but also in three neighbouring countries.

Janet Kayita, WHO representative in Malawi :

"It's not just a Malawi effort, it's a cross border as well with the three neighbouring countries. So the same team of experts is working not just with the Malawi government, but also with the governments of the three neighbouring countries to make sure that we have synchronised effort", said Janet Kayita, WHO's representative in Malawi.

The virus was detected in a four-year old girl over a week ago.

President Lazarus Chakwera declared a national health emergency ordering 14 million doses of the vaccine.

"My child is two years and six months old. He received all the polio vaccines but I have brought him for another round of vaccine because this is a special program to ensure that he is not under the threat of polio", said mother Patricia Sandukila.

Africa was declared free of indigenous wild polio in August 2020 after an exhaustive immunisation campaign.

Polio has been largely eradicated but remains endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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