Media crucial in the fight against polio in the country

The ministry of health has urged media houses in the country to complement government’s efforts in disseminating right information regarding polio vaccination campaign scheduled to commence on Monday 21 March 2022.

The call has been made during a media orientation meeting the ministry had with some media practitioners in Dowa on friday.

According to Deputy Director of Immunization Services in the ministry, Dr. Mike Chisema despite the country registering only one case, the disease is highly infectious and with one case registered does not mean that some other people do not have the disease only that some do not have the symptoms.

Dr. Chisema said as a ministry they are working hard to make sure that the disease does not spread further hence the planned vaccination campaign.

“We understand that the country received a polio free status in 2005 and having the last case way back in 1992 it is hard for people to understand the issues of polio vaccination that is why we are engaging the media in the dissemination of information on the same,” said Chisema.

He added that misconceptions are there since polio vaccination is coming in the wake of covid 19 of which its vaccine has also been receiving resistance and people have to also understand that the ministry has a goal of eradicating polio.

Speaking on behalf of the orientation participants, Cathy Maulidi of MIJ FM, said the information they have been imparted with will help them clear out myths and misconceptions surrounding polio vaccination.

“As journalists we have a big role to play in informing the public mostly with right information regarding polio vaccination, sometimes we give out information that is not fully baked because we are not fully informed ourselves and this engagement has helped us get the right information,” said Maulidi.

Few weeks ago the country registered a polio case and in the wake of this the ministry has put in place different measures to cut transmission cycle of the disease.

The ministry is set to start the first phase of polio vaccination campaign on Monday 21 March, 2022 and about 2.9 million under five children are being targeted in the campaign.

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