Dowa targets to vaccinate 422,105 children with polio vaccine

By Vincent Gunde

The District Health Office in Dowa has set a target of 422,105 children under 15 years of age to be vaccinated in Round 2 of Polio Vaccination campaign which starts in the district from 13th to 16th September, 2022 through door-to-door vaccinations.

In Round one of the Campaign, Dowa district recorded 107 percent children vaccinated, an achievement which does not come on a surprise.

Dowa has always been number one in vaccinations of children from poliovirus.

Speaking during the launch of Round 2 Campaign held at the District Hospital’s staff houses ground in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere, District Medical Officer (DMO) for Dowa Dr. Ronald Mhango, said Dowa has for four consecutive times doing good in the vaccination campaigns as compared to the other districts of the country.

Dr. Mhango said it is the wish of the District Health Office to reach out to all children under 15 years of age saying polio is a very dangerous disease which is characterized by fever, sore throats and paralysis of limbs making a person to become crippled.

He said his office has sent messages of sensitization to all churches, schools, Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) to see to it that no one is left behind in the polio vaccination campaign adding that the launch itself has made others to know the importance of vaccinating children.

“We are hopeful that the district will vaccinate children to reach 100 percent as has been the case with other previous polio vaccination campaigns,” said Dr. Mhango.

Speaking earlier, Senior Chief Chiwere called on his subjects to civic educate one another on the importance of vaccinating children with poliovirus vaccine to make each and every child health, Dowa health and the country health.

Chief Chiwere assured the communities that chiefs will work hand in hand with the health personnel so that the Campaign is implemented in the interest of all warning parents and guardians who restrain their children from vaccinations that the by-laws and security officers will be at their door steps.

“Children have the right to receive health care and this should not be hampered by religious beliefs,” he said.

And in his remarks, Vice Chairperson for Dowa District Council Councilor Samuel Chikaphula, appealed to the communities in the district to make sure that all children under 15 years of age have received polio vaccines saying it is the wish of government to reach out to all children in Malawi.

The polio vaccination Campaign is being organized countrywide with support from UNICEF and WHO in response to polio outbreaks which was reported in some districts of the country such as Phalombe, Mulanje, Lilongwe and Blantyre, these districts have been registering cases since February, 2022.