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Government, Development Partners Prepare for Polio Vaccination Campaign

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The Ministry of Health, in cooperation with various development partners, yesterday held a meeting in Vientiane to prepare for a countrywide polio vaccination campaign.

The polio vaccination project is supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The meeting was attended by health officials and representatives from the WHO, UNICEF, Rotarian International of Japan, JICA and the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare.

The meeting was chaired by Health Minister, Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong.

The project aims to erase polio in Laos by carrying out round 9 and round 10 of polio vaccinations, which will be held in November and January 2017.

Prof. Dr Bounkong reviewed the outcomes of previous polio vaccination drives from the first to eighth rounds. Vaccinations were administered in Xaysomboun, Borikhamxay and XiengKhuang provinces.

Since the third round, the project has been run in every province of the country. Vaccinations are given to children under 15 years of age and people at risk of infection with the virus in 67 districts. 120,000 people have been vaccinated with each round reaching 97 percent of the target population.

Nevertheless, children under 5 years of age are still at risk of polio infection due to the failure to inoculate the entire population, stressing the vital importance of rounds 9 and 10 in fully eradicating the virus.

According to the WHO Laos office, the organisation will boost the Minister of Health’s initiatives on the prevention of polio by focusing on children at risk in target provinces. If their plan succeeds, polio will be eradicated in Laos by 2017.

Source: Vientiane Times

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