Polio Vaccination Campaign Completed in Bong

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GBARNGA, Bong – The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, has completed a polio immunization campaign for children under five years of age in Bong.

WHO’s infection prevention and control officer for the county, Moses Bolongei, said the campaign was a nationwide initiative intended to prevent children from contracting polio.

The three-day campaign, lasting from February 24 to 27, was officially launched on Friday in Zowienta, Kpaii District and attended by local leaders and representatives from the Bong County Health Team.

WHO’s infection prevention and control officer for Bong, Moses Bolongei. Photo: Obe Smith

WHO’s infection prevention and control officer for Bong, Moses Bolongei. Photo: Obe Smith

Moses Bolongei said the campaign aimed to vaccinate 100,827 children within the county.

“Vaccinators were trained across the different health districts in Bong County to move in different communities around the county to administer the vaccine to children,” Bolongei said.

He said the vaccinators are also trained to detect signs and symptoms of Polio and report cases to the health facilities.

Bolongei said this is the first round of the campaign and that another phase will be done in March this year.

“Even though Liberia has not reported any cases of polio in recent years, it is important that we prevent our children from getting the disease because there are few cases that are being recorded some other countries. Since people are always traveling from one point to another or cross country, it is important that we take prevention,” Bolongei continued.

He called on parents to take their children under age five to the nearest health centers to take the vaccine.

According to the World Health Organization, polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.

The virus is transmitted from person to person and spreads mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by contaminated water or food, and multiplies in the intestine.

Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs.

One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, usually in the legs. Among those paralyzed, 5 percent to 10 percent die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.

There is no cure for polio; it can only be prevented. The polio vaccine, after the 4 administered dosage, should protect a child for life.

Featured photo by Obe Smith

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia awarded him with the Human Rights Reporter award. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Aside from his work in the media, Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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