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The first round of the polio vaccination campaign in Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces in Papua New Guinea was able to vaccinate 249,346 children under five-years-old.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase made this known when giving an update on the polio outbreak in the three affected provinces yesterday based on reports received as of July 31.
“This represents an estimated 86 per cent of the targeted population and I expect this figure to rise as reports come in from the harder to reach areas, particularly in the Madang Province,” he said.
“We have extended the first round of the campaign until August 3 in order for the hard to reach districts that started later to catch up with the first round vaccinations.
“Good progress has been made in Morobe with 96 per cent coverage and Eastern Highlands with 95 per cent coverage.
“Unfortunately, there are some issues in the remote areas of Madang with 62 per cent coverage, however, we are expecting delayed reports to increase this coverage.”
According to the summary coverage data achieved for round one of the campaign as of July 30 2018, for Morobe Province, the target under the age of five was 108,670 and 104,457 vaccinated, for Eastern Highlands 97,379 was the target age under five years and 92,809 were vaccinated and for Madang Province, the target under the age of five was 83,532 and 52,170 were vaccinated.
World Health Organisation representative, Dr Luo Dapeng said these reports were encouraging as many children came for vaccination but more needs to reach to ensure full protection from polio.
“We have three more rounds planned in August, Sept and Oct,” he said.
UNICEF representative, David Mcloughlin said early this month, UNICEF delivered 611,000 doses of oral polio vaccine to support the ongoing first round of the polio campaign as well as the second round scheduled for Aug ust 20 to September 2 in the three affected provinces.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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