By Raphael Likaka
The Zomba District Health Office (DHO) says the first round of polio vaccination faced difficulties as some parents refused to vaccinate their children under five on religious grounds.
Zomba DHO Public Relations Manager Arnold Mndalira revealed this during a press briefing.
He said that although many children under the age of five received the oral vaccination in Zomba, there were still other children who were not vaccinated in the first round due to the religious ideologies of their parents.
Mndalira added that health personnel were also failing to vaccinate children staying in houses inside the perimeter fences because parents could not open their doors to allow them to vaccinate their children.
However, he warned these parents that refusing to vaccinate their children puts them at a higher risk of suffering from poliomyelitis, which can also lead to death.
“Let your children under five years old get vaccinated against poliomyelitis, because failure to be vaccinated has devastating effects,” Mndalira warned parents, adding that poliomyelitis is deadly, so the vaccination campaign against poliomyelitis deserves particular attention.
He said symptoms of polio include headache, vomiting, stiff neck and many more, adding that polio is easily transmitted and can also be transmitted when a person eats food contaminated with polio. feces of a person infected with the polio virus.
Mndalira therefore reminded parents of children under five to vaccinate them against polio during the second round of the polio vaccination campaign starting from April 25-28.
“Let me remind all parents of children under five that the second round of polio vaccination begins April 25-28,” Zomba DHO’s public relations officer added, calling on parents to respond positively to the second cycle.
He also called on traditional and religious leaders to encourage their subjects and followers to have their children vaccinated against polio in the second round of the campaign.
In Zomba, 94% of children under five were vaccinated against poliomyelitis in the first round and it was hoped that Zomba would vaccinate more children in the second round, according to Mndalira.