BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) was expected to wind up its massive polio vaccination programme yesterday with hundreds of children having been jabbed since October 27.
The intensive polio vaccination campaign was aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, which has affected neighbouring countries Malawi and Mozambique.
Polio is a life-threatening disease that can affect the brain and spinal cord. It can cause paralysis or even death. Unvaccinated children are more vulnerable to the disease.
Council’s health services director Edwin Sibanda yesterday told Southern Eye that trained health staff would roll out door-to-door vaccination.
“The people in charge of vaccination are mostly nurses, but we also trained health workers as the procedure involves just putting two drops of medicine into a child’s mouth,” Sibanda said.“Clinics too were open for those who felt like they wanted to go to the clinics. Private institutions like Mater Dei Hospital are also offering vaccination services. There are about 342 vaccinators, and vehicles are driving around with nurses, while we have people spreading word about vaccination. The vaccination is still underway. We do not have statistics yet about how many children have been vaccinated,” he added while indicating that the programme would end yesterday.
Last week, Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro said although the country had not recorded any cases of the disease, it was taking preventive measures through vaccination blitzes.