Govt conducting polio vaccination campaign from today

Published On: May 26, 2024 12:00 PM NPT By: Pabitra Sunar

KATHMANDU, May 26: The government is conducting a polio vaccination campaign for children across the country from today. The government's campaign, scheduled to run until June 8, will administer the IPV vaccine.

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has urged parents to bring their children to the nearest vaccination centers for polio immunization.

The MoHP has specifically called upon parents not to overlook children under the age of eight who may have been missed during the previous two-week campaign from May 26 to June 8.

According to Dr Abhiyan Gautam, the chief of the Child Health and Immunization Section under the Family Welfare Division, the government started administering the polio vaccine via injection in 2071 BS. Prior to this, both injectable and oral polio vaccines were being given. Dr Gautam stated that both types of vaccines are necessary to protect against polio.

During the period from mid-April 2016 to mid-September 2018, there was a shortage of vaccines worldwide as the production could not meet the demand worldwide. Due to the lack of vaccine supply during that period, even Nepal could not provide complete vaccination to all children. In the year 2017, not a single child was able to get the vaccine.

“Since the children born during that period missed getting the polio vaccine, the government decided to run the 'IPV Vaccination Campaign-2081 BS' to administer it to those who had missed it,” Gautam said.

In the year 2022, the government took an initiative with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to vaccinate those who had missed it. 

In Nepal, the last case of polio was observed in Mahottari in the year 2010. Since then, although no polio case has been reported in Nepa, the country remains at risk due to the ongoing polio transmission in neighboring countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world. Dr Gautam said that due to the continued risk and the ongoing efforts globally for eradication, polio vaccines are regularly administered to children in Nepal.

According to statistics, five people in Pakistan and Afghanistan each were reported infected with polio in the last year. African countries have also recorded a significant number of polio cases. Dr Gautam emphasized that Nepal remains at risk due to potential transmission during international travel. "Just like smallpox, we remain vulnerable until polio is eradicated globally," he cautioned.

Vaccination to more than 1.45 million

According to the campaign schedule, a total of 1,624,000 doses of vaccine will be used by the Immunization Section. The vaccine has been procured at a cost of Rs 320 million, jointly funded by GAVI and the Government of Nepal. The government aims to administer this vaccine to 1,462,712 individuals as part of the polio vaccination campaign. Throughout Nepal, 8,590 volunteers, 5,188 vaccination centers, and 40,295 health workers will be involved in the vaccination campaign.

This is how polio spreads

According to doctors, polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is transmitted through food and water contaminated with human feces. If the feces of an infected person are in the environment, polio can easily be transmitted to others.

Children under the age of five are most at risk of contracting the disease, but it can occur at any age. This disease causes paralysis. There is no cure for it. In some cases, this disease can even lead to death.

Leave A Comment