BY KALIKENE MSUKWA
The government of Malawi will begin the administration of the fourth round of the polio vaccine today, October 13, 2022, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
The exercise, which will run from October 13 to 16, follows the third round of national mass vaccination campaign that targeted all under-five children to protect them from the wild poliovirus type 1.
A statement signed by Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo, indicated that will, again, target all children who are less than five years of age.
“[This is] irrespective of whether they already got vaccinated during routine immunization clinics or the last three polio vaccination campaign rounds,” reads the statement.
Malawi declared a wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) outbreak in February after detecting a case, the country’s first wild poliovirus case in 30 years.
The previous mass vaccination rounds were of low quality as only five districts out of 29 in round one and nine districts out of 29 in round two have passed the Lot Quality Assurance Survey (LQAS).
WHO representative in Malawi, Dr Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo, has said the circulation of the virus will only be interrupted if the country delivers quality rounds using house to house vaccination strategy.
“I urge all front-line workers and in particular vaccination teams to visit all houses, churches, markets, schools, and communities along the international border to ensure that all children less than five years old are vaccinated,” said Kimambo.