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Massive Polio Immunization Campaign Resumes in Ethiopia

The second round of a major polio immunization effort gets underway Friday in Ethiopia. It’s a four-day campaign that’s being conducted because polio cases have been confirmed in the country.

Oliver Rosenbauer is a spokesperson for the World Health Organization’s polio eradication campaign. From Geneva, he told English to Africa’s Joe De Capua:

“Starting tomorrow in Ethiopia is going to be launched the next round of immunization campaign. Five million children under the age of five years in some key endemic areas of Ethiopia, which remain endemic to polio, are going to be vaccinated against polio. As you know at the moment there’s currently an outbreak in Ethiopia. Twenty-four children have been paralyzed by the disease and because it’s a communicable disease it tends to spread very rapidly. So, the only protection against polio is the immunization. So, it’s very important that this campaign be run very successfully.” The immunization campaign will target areas of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Harari regions, as well as the Dire Dawa City administration. The first round of vaccinations was conducted in February. Polio is often spread through contaminated water.

There is no cure for polio.