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World Health Organisation (WHO) commends Zimbabwe for robust health services

WHO Representative to Zimbabwe Professor Jean-Marie Dangou

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended the Government of Zimbabwe for robust health services that have helped improve people’s health and safety despite challenges.

Giving a solidarity message at the launch of a Polio Vaccination Campaign Round 4 in Victoria Falls, WHO Representative to Zimbabwe Professor Jean-Marie Dangou said the world body applauds the work by the Ministry of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe in trying to bring back vaccination on track.

He implored communities to complement Government efforts by availing themselves and supporting programmes being rolled out.

“WHO is grateful to Government of Zimbabwe, local and international donors who continue to provide the leadership and technical, material, and financial resources for polio eradication activities in Zimbabwe.

“I acknowledge the good collaboration and partnership between my organization and the MoHCC and I would like to count on you to strengthen it further,” he said.

Prof Dangou said WHO remains committed to supporting all activities from immunization to health system strengthening to provide much-needed health services to our communities.

He said the ongoing efforts to protect the children in Zimbabwe against the risk of infection with poliovirus is commendable.

“The launch of this fourth and last round of polio campaigns after three successful ones where coverage was above 95 percent is a testament of Government’s commitment towards Polio eradication globally.

“The risk of importation of poliovirus into Zimbabwe increased very significantly following the confirmation of several cases of polio in Malawi and Mozambique. Since these cases were confirmed, several countries in the Southern African sub-region have implemented national polio vaccination campaigns and Zimbabwe is amongst these countries.

“On behalf of WHO and on my own behalf, I appreciate the health workers in Zimbabwe at all levels of the health care system who have worked tirelessly to ensure all eligible children have received their vaccines. The efforts of other government ministries and departments, political, traditional, and religious leaders as well as with all stakeholders from NGOs, Community-Based Organizations, philanthropic and voluntary organisations, the private sector, the media, to prepare for the Polio vaccination campaign is also appreciated,” he said.

To ensure that polio is kept out of Zimbabwe, said Prof Dangou, it is important to strengthen routine immunisation and disease surveillance beyond this campaign.

The vaccination campaign ends tomorrow.

Prof Dangou called upon parents and communities to continue bringing their children for vaccination not only against polio but also other vaccine—preventable diseases such as measles to reduce the risk of outbreaks.

He said children are the biggest asset and the future generation.

Prof Dangou said while routine immunisation is improving after the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, more work needs to be done to ensure all those missed children are identified and vaccinated.

The country is targeting all 2.8 million children less than five years of age.

The programme seeks to ensure that every child in Zimbabwe is free from any of the vaccine-preventable diseases.

This will also help the country towards achievement of health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

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