Cameroon starts nationwide polio immunization

Map of Cameroon

Cameroon on Friday launched a nationwide polio immunization exercise targeting over 5 million children under the age of five years.

The first phase of the campaign will run from May 16 and the second phase will run from June 10 to 13 in 197 districts of the country, according to officials of the Ministry of Public Health.

Paul Naseri Bea, governor of the Center region, officially launched the exercise in the capital, Yaounde.

“This exercise is important for our children and the future of our country. All parents need to vaccinate their children. A child who does not receive the vaccines exposes himself to diseases,” Bea told reporters.

Throughout the campaign, vaccination officers will move from door to door, to markets, schools and churches administering the novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2).

The health ministry last year reported the detection of a rare wild poliovirus (type 2) in the country.

Cameroon has since been training health workers on measures to eradicate the disease.

The country was certified polio-free in 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO) after having reported no indigenous polio cases for 10 years.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under five years.

The virus is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and by aerosol droplets, according to the WHO.