News / Africa

Senegalese Children Vaccinated Against Polio

Anne Look

Senegalese children were among the 85 million African children vaccinated against polio this week, as part of an international campaign to halt an ongoing wave of the disease in West and Central Africa.

Health workers went door-to-door this week in Joal, Senegal, about 100 kilometers outside the capital, Dakar.  They used droppers to give free oral polio vaccine to all children under five years old.

The campaign in Joal was part of a countrywide campaign to vaccinate the more than two million children under five in Senegal.  It is a campaign aimed at raising immunity as well as awareness.

Ibrahima Sakho and his wife had never heard of polio before their two-year-old son, Mamadou, was stricken with the life-threatening disease in early January.  Their son was the second case of polio reported in Senegal this year.

Sakho says he was in the Gambia working when his wife told him his son was scratching his back and was bedridden with a fever.  He says Mamadou was taken to a health center in Joal then transferred to a hospital in Dakar.  He says the first time he saw his son, Mamadou's arms and legs were paralyzed.  He says he was very worried because he did not know a disease could do that.

Two-months later, Mamadou can now slightly move his right leg and left arm.  His father says he has since learned how polio is spread and is urging other parents to vaccinate their children.

Senegal is one of nine West and Central African countries that have had polio outbreaks within the past six months.

This most recent polio threat can be traced to a 2008 outbreak in northern Nigeria that is moving westward.  Many of the affected countries, which had been polio free, became re-infected.

In a mass immunization campaign launched this week, the United Nations and international aid agencies aimed to vaccinate more than 85-million children under five against the polio virus in 19 countries across West and Central Africa.

UNICEF's Regional Communication Officer, Gaëlle Bausson, said this synchronized, multi-national campaign is just the first step eradicating polio.

"The second level of action is strengthening the health system so that every child gets systematically immunized when he has access to health care," said Gaëlle Bausson. "It is a much more complicated issue because you need to improve access to health care.  You need to improve health-care education so that people know that they should get their kid  to vaccination as a preventative measure not as a curative or an emergency measure to stop an outbreak."

Bausson said that education is key because, in the absence of an outbreak, people tend to forget about the disease and not immunize their children.

"For example, there has not been a case in Senegal for more than 20 years, so the level of information was quite low" said Bausson. "The population did not realize that it was still an issue and that it could hit anywhere at any point."

The Global Polio Eradication Campaign is spearheaded by national governments, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, Rotary International, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

The aid agencies plan a follow-up campaign in the same 19 countries on April 24.  

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid