NEW POLIO VACCINATION LAUNCHED IN GBARPOLU COUNTY

Gbarpolu County – The Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) has been launched at the Chief Jallah Lone Medical Center in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County, and seeks to buttress the oral vaccination in order to improve the immunization of targeted children in the county.

The county superintendent, Hon. Armah M. Sarnor, officially launched the IPV campaign on Monday, July 3 before ceremoniously requesting County Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Tucker to administer the first dose of the vaccine on a child.IPV is another type of polio vaccine administered to children through

IPV is another type of polio vaccine administered to children through injection that is being introduced in Liberia. Children between fourteen (14) weeks and nine months are qualified for the new IPV vaccine.

The new vaccine protects children under one year old from two types of polio virus and it is an addition to the oral polio vaccine that also protects children from getting cripple and other virus diseases.

Polio, also known as poliomyelitis is a crippling and infectious viral disease which is caused by the poliovirus. The WHO says the virus is a communicable disease which spreads from person to person and can attack an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing serious paralysis.

“We want to say thank you to Dr. Tucker and entire County Health Team,” Superintendent Sarnor said with excitement. “This Polio vaccine will make our children to build more defense system and more resilience against the virus”.

He called on parents to support the vaccination campaign, adding that promoting the process is everybody’s business. He also commanded the Ministry of Internal Affairs for its continued support to the health sector of the county.

For his part, the health promotion focal person of the county health team, Maxwell Tangay, announced that the launched of the IPV marks the official introduction of the new polio vaccine in the country.

“From now on this vaccine will be available at all our health facilities in the county,” he told Local Voices Liberia later in an interview.

According to Tangay, there is massive awareness ongoing throughout the county and that the newly introduced vaccine will also form part of the routine polio vaccine that is administered at all health facilities.

According to the WHO, IPV is produced from wild-type poliovirus strains of each serotype that have been inactivated (killed) with formalin. As an injectable vaccine, IPV can be administered alone or combined with other vaccines like tetanus and pertussis, and hepatitis B vaccines.

The health focal person also encouraged caretakers and baby mothers to take their child or children’s vaccine card with them whenever they are going to the clinic, adding “take your baby to the clinic for vaccines 5 times before they reach 1 year old. The vaccines give them a healthy start in life because they are good and they save lives.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Tucker praised the county authorities for being supportive to the health delivery system, saying, “We are successful because of you”.

Stakeholders attending the launch of the vaccine in Bopolu thanked the Government of Liberia for efforts to have the vaccination campaign against polio progressing.

Mr. Dawolo B. S. katakawo, Gbarpolu education officer, told parents attending the launching that “When children are protected they will stay long in class and learn better”.

And Bendu Jah, who is president of rural women organization in the county, promised to fully support the polio immunization campaign for children.

“We will encourage our women to take this vaccine business serious,” Madam Jah assured.

Report by: Henry B. Gboluma, Jr.