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NEWS : Local News  

Sierra Leone News : Polio! “An Insult to Human Dignity” - Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah
By Annans Sesay (Intern)
Feb 29, 2016, 12:04
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Freetown, Feb. 26, 016 (MOHS) - The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah has said that polio is an insult to human dignity. 


The National Polio Round One Vaccination Campaign was launched at the George Brook Community Health Center in Freetown on February 26, 2016. It is a campaign that is targeting 1.4 Million Children. Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah said investing in immunization is the most cost effective means known to tackle the root cause of underdevelopment, poverty and instability.


Dr. Fofanah said that the huge success in bringing down polio is to a large extent the work of routine Immunization services.


He noted that 19,000 children under the age of five die every day from completely preventable causes of illness and disabilities.


He furthered that each illness, disability or death is a cause for great concern to them. He underscored the importance of vaccine, adding that they are safe, protects life, cost effective and decreases the rate of diseases. He called on the world to unite and bring this tragedy of polio to an end.


The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo noted that this is not the first time the Ministry of Health and Sanitation through its partners is undertaking such immunization activities. He said  that children under the age of five (5) last year missed the immunizations due to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak. He encouraged every parent to stay at home to make sure their children under the age of 5 receive the vaccination, as it is their right to be vaccinated.

 

Speaking on behalf of the UN country team, World Health Organization (WHO) Head of Immunization, Dr. Pamela Mitula said that from the 26 to 29th February 2016, 1.4 million children under (5) five years of age will be targeted for immunization against polio even if they have received the vaccine before.

 

Dr. Mitula thanked the Government of Sierra Leone and all partners for their continued support with finance, logistic and technical manpower, which is essential to make the immunization campaign a success.

 

President of Rotary Club of Freetown, Kweku Fraser maintained that every dollar Rotary Club commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year through 2018.

 

Mr. Fraser said that these funds help to provide much needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment and educational materials for health workers and patients.

 

He disclosed that more than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio, adding that every year hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries.


The ceremony was chaired by the District Medical Officer, Western Area, Rev. Dr. Thomas Samba.    


AS/KK/MOHS/SLENA


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