Article by
Dani Reiter
Updated
September 26th, 2019

‘We Must Make Our Country Polio-Free Again’

Papua New Guinea vaccinating 1 million children against measles-rubella and polio

papua new guinea

Papua New Guinea has launched a nationwide free vaccination campaign for children against three dangerous diseases: measles, rubella, and polio. 

This vaccination campaign started in June 2019, led by the National Department of Health, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other partners. 

Children 6 months to 5 years old are to be injected with the measles-rubella vaccine, while children 0-5 years will be given the oral polio vaccine (OPV) regardless of previous vaccination status. 

The integrated vaccination campaign follows confirmation of a polio outbreak in June 2018. To date, more than 3.3 million children under 15 years old have received multiple doses of the polio vaccine in the last 10 months. 

“We have made great progress, but the war against polio is not yet over -- we need to continue to work together to make sure every child is fully vaccinated, said Dr. Luo Dapeng, the World Health Organization Representative in Papua New Guinea (PNG).   

Polio is a highly dangerous, infectious disease that permanently paralyses or kills. Polio can be transmitted from an infected person through water or food that has been contaminated with faecal materials. 

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Unfortunately, poliomyelitis has no cure, but it can be prevented through vaccination. 

“I am optimistic that if we work together, we will be able to support the Government in reaching every child with life-saving vaccines in every part of the country,'' reiterated Dr. Dapeng. 

“We thank the partners in supporting this massive endeavor to protect children from measles, rubella, and polio. Your investment in the health of the children of PNG is an investment in their future.”

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Funding for the PNG vaccination campaign is provided by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, Rotary International, and the Governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and the United States of America.