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Papua New Guinea

NCD’s second round for polio campaign is next week

BY GRACE AUKA SALMANG

THE next round of the polio campaign is expected to be completed before the start of APEC despite challenges faced, says coordinator of the polio emergency operations centre for NCD Dr Morimai Ipai.

“NCD is scheduled to have the second round of the polio vaccination from October 22 to November 4 and we hope to complete the next round of the campaign before the start of the APEC Leaders’ Summit,’’ he said.

“The polio vaccination campaign is a highly stressful and labor-intensive operation where our polio workers worked long hours and I thank them for that,” he said.

Dr Ipai said the polio teams had also been subjected to security threats.

Saying that in one instance, one of his vaccinators had her bag stolen while setting up the vaccination post.

“In some instances, our polio teams could not go into a community because of some fighting. The election in Hanuabada also prevented our polio workers from getting into the village to do the vaccination.”

As much as the polio workers wanted to vaccinate in busy areas like the airport and the shopping malls, they were unable to do so due to some management requirements that need to be complied with.

Due to the fast pace of the campaign and the ever-changing schedules of the mobile teams, he said they were unable to announce to the public the schedules of the vaccinations.

The polio vaccination in NCD was scheduled one week ahead of the other provinces as Port Moresby reported its first case of polio on September 6 in a six-year-old boy from Five-Mile Settlement.

The outbreak response plan includes three main components: supplementary immunisation activities (four sub-national and national vaccination rounds); enhanced surveillance; and communication.

Total estimated budget for the plan is US$18 million (K56.7m), against which the Government has committed about US$ 2.2 million (K6.7m), releasing K2 million for the first and second rounds of the vaccination campaigns.

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