Government Declares Polio on top of Cholera

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Benhilda Magomo

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has declared an outbreak of polio Virus type 2(cvDPV2) in Budiriro, Mbare, and Mufakose

The outbreak comes barely a month after the fourth round of the Polio Oral Vaccination campaign which was conducted nationwide. The campaign targeted 2.8 million children less than five years of age.

Polio is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis.

In a statement, Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora said implementing a coordinated outbreak response to quickly contain the outbreak and prevent further spread is needed.

‘’ There is a need to activate the Incident Management System urgently to address the critical situation’’.

He added that all possible leadership should engage at all levels for successful coordination and implementations including vaccination campaigns, strengthened routine immunization, and enhanced polio surveillance.

Dr Mombeshora has made an earnest request for intervention from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations through financial and technical support.

‘’The Zimbabwean Government has been actively conducting vaccination blitzes to protect young children from the dire effects of this disease’’, he added.

There is no cure for polio though it can be prevented with safe and effective vaccination such as the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) which has been given since 2002. No deaths have been recorded so far, the minister said.

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