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Securing a more healthy future: Rwanda’s vaccination efforts shield kids from polio | WHO

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Umutoniwase Marie Claire playing with her daughter Ornella
Umutoniwase Marie Claire along with her daughter Ornella who obtained vaccinated in the course of the polio marketing campaign.

Rwanda – When group well being staff introduced a mass polio vaccination marketing campaign in Karongi, on the japanese shores of Lake Kivu final 12 months, mom Marie Claire Umutoniwase knew this was her alternative to guard the well being of her now nine-month-old daughter Ornella.

Umutoniwase had realized from group well being staff the devastating results of polio and says, “I really feel at peace figuring out my daughter is vaccinated.”

Following the declaration of a circulating variant poliovirus kind 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak in Rwanda´s neighbouring nations, together with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Tanzania, Rwanda launched into an immunization marketing campaign to guard each one of many nation’s kids from the virus, and its penalties. 

Though the final polio case in Rwanda was reported three many years in the past, the vaccination marketing campaign aimed to succeed in all kids underneath the age of seven no matter their earlier immunization standing.

In shut collaboration with the World Well being Group (WHO) and UNICEF, Rwanda’s Well being Ministry performed two countrywide immunization rounds with 2 754 831 vaccines administered between 24 and 28 July 2023 and an extra 2 915 598 between 11 and 15 September 2023.

Vaccinators went home to accommodate to make sure all eligible kids had been reached, with efforts complemented by pop-up websites at markets, parks, well being services and faculties. The 2 rounds reached 106% and 99.7% of their respective targets, whereas 44 of 46 district hospitals had been deemed to have met the WHO standards for a high-quality polio vaccination marketing campaign.  

“Earlier than the marketing campaign, folks principally knew little greater than the title of the illness. We went door to door to coach everybody about polio, in regards to the significance of accepting the vaccine and the potential penalties for kids who contracted the virus,” says Martin Mbasabagukizwa, a group well being employee who actively participated within the marketing campaign.

Martin Mbasabagukizwa, a community health worker in Karongi
Martin Mbasabagukizwa, a group well being employee in Karongi

General, 14 424 skilled group well being staff had been concerned within the marketing campaign, with supportive supervision by groups from well being centres and district hospitals. WHO labored with the Ministry of Well being to coach nationwide and district supervisors, who then cascaded their data to well being centre groups, finally equipping and supporting group well being staff to manage the vaccine. 

WHO employed an revolutionary digital cost platform to make sure well timed funds to the 17 865 personnel concerned in implementing and evaluating the marketing campaign. 

“Group well being staff performed a key position within the marketing campaign, administering vaccines in households, monitoring kids who had missed a vaccine and following up on any antagonistic occasions following immunization,” says Hassan Sibomana, Director of the Vaccine Programmes Unit at Rwanda Biomedical Centre. 

Emphasizing the broad vary of gamers essential to make any vaccination marketing campaign a hit, he provides: “The profitable polio vaccination marketing campaign was the fruit of fine collaboration between all actors.”

On the request of Ministry of Well being, WHO, in collaboration with the World Polio Eradication Initiative, deployed a group of native and worldwide consultants to the nation earlier than, throughout and after the marketing campaign to supply technical assist to the Rwanda Biomedical Centre within the planning and coordination for the marketing campaign. WHO additionally supplied technical experience to confirm using the polio vaccine, working with the Rwanda Meals and Medicine Authority.

Dr Marie Rosette Nahimana, WHO epidemiologist and Expanded Programme on Immunization group chief, says “Rwanda’s pressing and profitable vaccination marketing campaign displays a proactive method to stopping the unfold of polio and defending the well-being of the nation’s kids. This complete technique, with its deal with group schooling alongside vaccination efforts, exemplifies greatest practices in public well being campaigns,” she provides.

Dr Marie Rosette Nahimana, administering the polio vaccine during the campaign
Dr Marie Rosette Nahimana, administering the polio vaccine in the course of the marketing campaign


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