Sierra Leone joins eight West African states in polio eradication

October 19, 2012

Over 70.000 health workers and community volunteers were combing the streets and jungle paths in Sierra Leone Friday at the start of a vaccination programme targetting young children in the West African country.

The four-day vaccination drive dubbed "Kick out of " is focusing on some 1.3 million children under the age of five.

Nurse Selina Joseph said she was taking part in the exercise for the first time and remarked on the women's desire to protect their children from the crippling disease.

"The area I am assigned to is generally regarded as a hard-to-reach hilly slope but by the time we reached level ground, there were women, some with babies strapped to their backs and others with three to four frightened children sitting or standing on perched rocks waiting for us to administer the doses. It was all like going to an excursion," she said.

The health ministry's programme manager, Dr Thomas Samba, who is coordinating the initiative told AFP: "The vaccination exercise in Sierra Leone is being undertaken simultaneously with eight other ECOWAS states - Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali."

On the current state of the disease in Sierra Leone, Samba said, "It is good news that new cases of polio have not been found over the last two years but we are not relenting as new cases are being recorded in other countries in the West African sub-region."

"It is of great concern when polio becomes a threat as a child plagued by polio is a loss to the nation," he said.

Samba noted that the last episode of polio in Sierra Leone occurred in February 2010 involving about 12 confirmed cases.

According to records, the Geneva-based Gavi Alliance, an organisation which distributes vaccines to the world's , has committed 24 million dollars from March 2009 to the immunization programme in Sierra Leone.

Explore further: Sierra Leone cholera death toll rises to 217

Related Stories

Sierra Leone cholera death toll rises to 217

August 23, 2012
(AP)—Humanitarian officials say the death toll from a cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone has risen to 217 people.

Sierra Leone cholera death toll rises to 244

September 3, 2012
A cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone which was declared a national emergency in mid-August has claimed 244 lives and affected 14,521 people, said a statement from a special cholera task force Monday.

Sierra Leone says cholera killed 66 since January

July 21, 2012
(AP) — Sierra Leone's health ministry says a cholera outbreak has sickened more than 3,800 and killed 66 people since January.

S.Leone cholera outbreak kills 62 in less than a month

July 18, 2012
Sierra Leone's health ministry on Wednesday said an outbreak of cholera in the west African country has killed 62 people in less than a month.

Cholera emergency declared in Sierra Leone

August 20, 2012
(AP) — An outbreak of cholera in West Africa has infected more than 13,000 people and killed at least 258 people in Sierra Leone and Guinea, authorities said as they appealed for international assistance.

Recommended for you

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections

September 22, 2017
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause a variety of illnesses that range from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome and the flesh-eating disease formally known ...

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?

September 22, 2017
Antibiotic resistance continues to grow around the world, with sometimes disastrous results. Some strains of bacteria no longer respond to any currently available antibiotic, making death by infections that were once easily ...

Ecosystem approach makes urinary tract infection more treatable

September 22, 2017
The biological term 'ecosystem' is not usually associated with urinary tract infections, but this should change according to Wageningen scientists.

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

September 21, 2017
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the ...

Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

September 21, 2017
A highly drug resistant malaria 'superbug' from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine—Vietnam's national first-line malaria treatment, ...

Individualized diets for irritable bowel syndrome better than placebo

September 21, 2017
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome who follow individualized diets based on food sensitivity testing experience fewer symptoms, say Yale researchers. Their study is among the first to provide scientific evidence for this ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.