By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Vaccination is very important towards safeguarding children from various ailments.
This was informed by the somaliland first lady Ms Amina-Weris Mohamed Jirdeh while launching a nationwide polio vaccination campaign in Hargeisa where she urged women to ensure that their never miss availing their children the benefits of vaccination whenever a campaign is on.
“I urge women nationwide to ignore propaganda negative propaganda against vaccination and ensure that children are availed the free services offered free of charge on a regular basis” said Ms Amina Weris
While wondering why a few people are spreading lies on the real purposes of vaccination the first lady stressed its importance as pertains to preventing a number of deadly diseases afflicting children who are most vulnerable especially at the age of five years and below.
The campaign launched by first lady Ms Amina-Weris Mohamed Jirdeh is a supplementary one occasioned by fears raised in East Africa from the May 9th, 2013 when Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported an outbreak of polio in Mogadishu.
Despite a recent alert raised by the minister of Health Dr Suleiman Isse Hagaltosie no cases have been reported in somaliland while over 14 WPV cases have been reported in Somalia and also two (2) WPV cases in Kenya.
There is a great risk that the disease can reach Somaliland thus the ministry of health alert and subsequent vaccination campaigns after warnings by Experts that the outbreak could spread to neighbouring countries and a surveillance alert for polio having been issued to all countries across the Horn of Africa.
Though this is the first confirmed case of the Wild Polio Virus (WP1) in Somalia since 2007 the country is not endemic to polio which remains endemic in the three countries of Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“As long as Polio exists anywhere in the world, all children are at risk if not vaccinated’ informed the Somaliland deputy health minister Ms Nimo Qawdan who flanked the first lady at the function.
According to MS Qawdan there is no cure for polio but it can be prevented through giving children several doses of the Oral Polio Vaccine.
Said she, “The vaccine is essential protection for children and we urge all parents/mothers/caregivers to make sure that their children under the ages of five are vaccinated now”
Poliomyelitis (Polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by the polio virus which invades the nervous system, and can cause irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs) or even death in a matter of hours. The polio virus enters through the mouth, in water or food contaminated with faecal material from infected person. The virus multiplies in the intestine and is execrated by the infected person in faeces, which can pass on the virus to others.