The campaign will target 1.3 million children for polio from zero age to 5 years in the whole country, also target 1.2 million children for vitamin A ages 6 months to years to all children aged 6 months to 59 months and Albendazole (deworming) to all children aged 12 months – 59 months.
Speaking during the lunching ceremony in Bo Dr. Wurie urged parents and guardians across the country to take their children who are within 0 – 15 years for vaccines.
He said measles/Rubella has caused lot of havoc on children within these age brackets, adding that if children are deficient in vitamin A could be affected by the virus severely.
He said worms are also a major causes of the virus, adding that if the immune system is weak children could also be affected.
Dr. Wurie said health children across the country could lead to psycho -social development in schools as the government has spent huge money in the free and quality education scheme.
“Education and health are intertwining for the development of the country” Dr. Wurie said.
He appealed to community chiefs to render support to the campaign across the country, noting that chiefs played a vibrant role across the country to eradicate the Ebola virus in the country.
Minister Wurie said the Ministry has planned with partners for the week campaign and supported community health staff in Peripheral Health Unit with over 200 bikes for movement during the campaign and also refrigerators to preserve the potency of the vaccines.
In giving an overview of the measles/ Rubella, Dr. Tom Sesay said measles normally affect young children, adding that signs are fever, rash and even without the right treatment could lead to complications like pneumonia.
He said the Rubella is a new virus and similar to that of measles, added that in 2016 Sierra Leone experienced massive outbreak of measles and sample tests were conducted.
He said the Ministry realized that only a small number had the measles virus, noting that the remaining cases were Rubella virus.
“After the test we realize that we have Rubella cases in the country, and that spark the intervention for Rubella vaccination by WHO”. He said.
Country Rep for World Health Organization, (WHO) Evans Liyosi who spoke on behalf of the United Nations said they appreciate the venture of government on the new vaccines as it will save the lives of children and also the budget of the government as children would not fall sick.
“Sierra Leone is moving in the right direction in protecting the public particularly the children against vaccine preventable diseases”. Country Rep
He said eight years ago polio was a big challenge World Wide, adding that as of today the position has changed.
He said January this year the World reported 24 cases of World polio, and seven of which came from Afghanistan and 17 in Pakistan, stressing that the African region is safe from January to now.
He said they will continue to step up in their surveillance cases to bring out any cases, noting that one case of measles can disrupt the gains made over the year.
The WHO Rep stressed that as a country compliancy must not come as we live in global village as people move from one place to the other. He warned