Gambia to Introduce Inactivated Polio Vaccine

By Rohey Jadama
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) under the  Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare will on Wednesday, 1st April introduced,The Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)  in line with the global polio
eradication initiative spearheaded by the World Health Organization
(WHO) to maintain immunity against poliomyelitis globally.
Speaking at the press briefing, Mr. Saharu Kanteh, the Communication
Officer of the EPI, said the National EPI programme since its
establishment in May 1979 had and will continue to introduce new
vaccines in the routine immunization services. He noted that over the
years, different vaccines were introduced and which are all geared
towards disease prevention and control.
Mr. Kanteh said the introduction of the new vaccines into the routine
immunization programme is rather a sign of the government’s commitment
to ensure that the health status of Gambian children is maintained in
line with meeting the MDG4 targets.
“These vaccines when given correctly using the right dose, route and
interval, the recipient is expected to be protected against the
particular disease,” said the EPI Communication Officer.
He said this will start on 1st April 2015 as a single dose given to
the 4 months old babies and children attending immunization services.
Mr. Kanteh said the introduction of this vaccine aims to reduce risks
and prevent type 2 circulations and that immunization with IPV would
lower the risk of re-emergence or reintroduction of wild or
vaccine-derived type 2 polio virus.
“Introducing IPV now could facilitate future outbreak control and
finally the dose will help protect the child against polio disease,”
he concluded.
Speaking earlier, Sanjally Trawally, the Deputy Director of the Health
Promotion and Education Directorate, in his welcoming remark, said the
role of the media has been very vital in disseminating information for
the people to be aware of the health services available. He noted that
it is through awareness campaigns that people get to know the
facilities available.
Mr. Trawally said their experience with vaccines is very instrumental
and that they are going to introduce the IPV vaccine soon.