Health secretary’s polio update

Though 92 percent of the total target population has been vaccinated against polio, the Health Department has confirmed 21 cases in the country that includes the recent one in Gulf Province.

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the rate at which polio has spread has quadrupled within the first four months since the first confirmed case of a 6-year-old boy in Morobe on 28th April, 2018.

“That means that we have 40 percent or 9 of the provinces in the country had recorded a case/s.

“The National Government has supported the polio campaign with K6 million and out of that, we have only received K2m.

“In January next year the Government will be committing funds towards improving the immunisation coverage for all other immunisable diseases. That funding will come separate from the K6m committed to the polio vaccination campaign.”

Kase said the national emergency operations centre (NEOC) has been set up since the emergency has been declared.

“Experts from the WHO, UNICEF and NDoH sit in to collect reports of our country’s progress in Polio. These are decision makers who facilitates with funding and technical supports.

“We are also pleased to see partners and stakeholders committing their time to attend the NEOC and contribute meaningfully to curb the virus. The NEOC starts at 8:30am-9:30am where they deliberate on the country’s updates.”

Kase said work on polio will not finish until we eradicate it.

“Polio has remerged after 18 years. We expect citizens of this country to advocate on polio and remind each one to take several rounds of polio vaccination. Bring every children under 15 years for vaccination…no one must be left out.

“This time vitamin A is included for children between 6-15 months. It is our responsibility to take precautions and practise basic health care at our communities.

“Remember, polio vaccination does not cause any harm to children. But polio will cause harm and misery in your family if you avoid vaccination. There is no cure for polio. Vaccination will protect your children from polio.”

(Health Secretary Pascoe Kase)

Press release