Strengthening measures to eradicate poliomyelitis

Since the year 2019, when four cases of type 2 polio were registered and thirteen cases in 2023 related to other countries within the Lake Chad basin, the government of Cameroon has engaged in several campaigns to fight against this debilitating illness. The most recent of these campaigns were in September and November of 2023.

Child receiving polio vaccination
Child receiving polio vaccination

Taking into account the severity of the disease as well as the difficulty of reaching everyone during the last campaign (partly due to accessibility issues, but also due to factors related to the political crisis), the concerned parties or stakeholders are taking the challenge of relaunching the campaign during the month of March, 2024. This information was released during a press briefing at the Regional Delegation of the Public Health for the South West Region, Buea, which Global Hand Cameroon attended.

As before, this campaign is targeting children from 0 to 5 years of age in order to boost their immunity, while vaccination for children 0 to 32 months is for those who missed out in their routine vaccinations either as a result of the COVID pandemic or the socio-political situation affecting the region. On that note, while the media professionals keep sensitizing the population and debunking false rumors about the vaccine, social mobilizers will do a door-to-door sensitization on 28-29 February before the launch of the campaign on 1 March 2024.

The campaign strategy is to make use of a mobile unit (going door to door), fixed unit (health facilities) and temporal fixed units (motor parks, churches, schools, popular meeting places, palaces, etc.). The goal of this campaign is to vaccinate over 28,700 children within the South West Region. Parents are cautioned that some children might experience some allergic reactions; should that happen, parents and/or guardians are advised not to panic but to report to the nearest health facility.