An estimated 700,110 children under 5 years old will be vaccinated against polio in nine provinces of Papua New Guinea in August 2018. The National Department of Health (NDOH) is mobilizing 4,964 polio workers who will be deployed to 49 districts.

Papua New Guinea Image/CDC
Papua New Guinea

In the six provinces of Enga, Chimbu, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Hela, the polio vaccination campaign is scheduled from 27 August to 9 September 2018. An official campaign launch for the Highlands will be led by Sir Dr Puka Temu, Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS on 27 August 2018 in Enga Province.

Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces launched the campaign in July. A second polio vaccination round started in the three provinces on 20 August and will continue until 2 September 2018.

Mass polio vaccination campaigns are being implemented in Papua New Guinea following confirmation on 22 June that poliovirus is circulating in the country after 18 years polio-free. To date, four cases have been confirmed; two from Morobe, one from Enga and one from Eastern Highlands Province.

“Polio threatens the children of Papua New Guinea”, said Sir Dr Puka Temu, Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS of Papua New Guinea. “Polio causes paralysis and even death. There is no cure for polio, and the only option we have as parents is to prevent it through vaccination. As a nation, let us work together to ensure that the children of Papua New Guinea are protected from polio.”

A nationwide polio vaccination campaign is planned for September and October targeting 1,265,000 children under 5 years old.