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Polio Workers in PNG Commended

The tireless efforts of health workers engaged in the nationwide vaccination campaign throughout the country have been commended today in Port Moresby by the National Department of Health, World Health Organization, and UNICEF.
This is particularly so for the six who lost their lives while carrying out immunization work and the delivery of vaccines since the polio outbreak last year.
In commemorating World Polio day tomorrow - 24th October, and with the theme 'Heroes of Polio Eradication; stories of our progress-past and present,’ UNICEF Country Representative, David Mcloughlin paid tribute to the thousands of polio frontline health workers, volunteers and other community leaders who, in the last eight rounds of polio vaccination campaigns delivered life-saving vaccines to children.
Mr. McLoughlin said he's happy this year's World Polio Day theme is focused on the frontline health workers and volunteers who brave the rough seas, thick forests, dangerous slopes to vaccinate children; they are our heroes.
He said the same energy must be applied to promote demand for routine immunization services, which is what will save over 200,000 children that are born annually in PNG.
WHO Country Representative, Dr. Luo Dapeng, acknowledged the tremendous leadership of the government in the successful response to the outbreak and the dedicated parents who ensured their children received the vaccine.
Meantime, the National Department of Health Acting Executive Manager Public Health Doctor Daoni Esorom, called on all stakeholders involved in the fight against Polio in the country to 'remain cautiously optimistic and persevere' in working towards improving the country's low routine immunization coverage.
Dr. Esorom said though it's been one year since the confirmation of the last case of poliovirus in PNG, they cannot afford to see a recurrence of the virus as the mass vaccination campaigns to address the problem are a 'huge drain on the economy.'
The re-emergence of the virus in 2018, after nearly 20 years saw 26 children permanently paralyzed - including one death. The PNG Government through the National Department of Health together with partners WHO and UNICEF was quick to respond conducting eight polio outbreak vaccination campaigns with over 3.3 million children under 15 years vaccinated.
The World Polio Day was commemorated today at the well-baby clinic of the Gerehu General Hospital, where babies and young children were taken in for weighing and for routine immunization.
NBC News
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