KIGALI - The three-day special immunization campaign against polio and measles is set to end today as opposed to the initial deadline of Friday, October 9.
This was revealed yesterday by the Manager of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation, Dr. Fidele Ngabo.
“We had anticipated that the set target of children would be immunized during the three days, but it so happens that numbers were still increasing on Friday. For this reason we added some more days and the campaign will end today.
“Increased numbers were seen in Bugesera and Ruhengeri. Deworming in schools was also part of the integrated programme and since some schools also needed more drugs, we believe that the added days will enable us meet these needs,” Ngabo told The New Times.
According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, the campaign targeted 1.5 million children below five years while the deworming strategy in schools aimed at reaching over 3 million children.
Officially launched last week by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, this operation comes at a time when polio cases are rising in neighbouring countries while measles continues to be among the top child-killer diseases.
“Five percent of our children still do not get immunized against such diseases, which leads to increased child deaths. It is therefore imperative that every parent takes some time off work and save their children’s lives by ensuring that they get immunized,” Mrs. Kagame advised.
Health officials also say that close to 300,000 pregnant women received iron and folic acid supplements in a bid to prevent anaemia while 50,000 breastfeeding mothers acquired water treatment solutions known as Sur Eau to guarantee safe water usage.