The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Partners has officially launched the 2021 Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign in Liberia.
The Polio Vaccination Campaign is fully supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which includes six members WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, CDC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Rotary.
During the launching ceremony which was held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship International in Sinkor Friday March 26, 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia’s Health Minister Hon. Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah disclosed that about one million children under 5 years old are expected to be vaccinated adding that the Polio Vaccination Campaign will also include the birth registrations of all the children during the exercise. ‘’We want to make sure that all of the one million children that we are going to be vaccinating have their birth registrations and their normal polio vaccines’’ Dr. Jallah told scores of partners and the media who had gone to the launch the 2021Polio vaccines.
The Liberian Health Minister used the occasion to inform the Liberian populace that the polio vaccine is free of charge and it will be administered by vaccinators with identification Cards only in the day time.
Dr. Jallah praised all partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Rotary, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for their enormous support to the Health sector of Liberia.
Also speaking at the Launch, Mr. Adolphus T. Clarke Program Manager of the Ministry of Health Immunization Project disclosed that, 3,119 vaccination teams have been dispatched in the various communities to conduct a full-scale house-to-house polio nationwide campaign with an aim of vaccinating 972,870 children across Liberia.
Mr. Clarke stated that 2 rounds of the polio vaccines will be given to each child aged less than 5 years, while COVID-19 protocols will be adhere to ensure vaccinators, health workers and communities take precautions and are protected from COVID19. Clarke added that at least 95% children are expected to be vaccinated during the exercise.
For her part, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) country Representative Madam Laila Omar Gad said the polio vaccination’s campaign launch is in fulfilment of global efforts to eradicate the poliovirus.
Madam Gad at the same time reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the continuation of existing support to the Liberian Health sector.
In February 2021, the Ministry of Health in Liberia declared the Poliovirus outbreak in the country as a public health emergency. Children in Liberia are at a risk of contracting this incurable disease if they are not vaccinated against polio.
The Polio Vaccination Campaign will run from March 26-29, 2021.
This endeavour is in line with the world’s effort to curb and eradicate the Poliovirus.
Therefore; the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Health encourages all Citizens and residents in the borders of Liberia to make available their children under the age of 5 to be vaccinated.