The Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda has called for a collective effort and collaboration from all stakeholders to ensure a successful vaccination against the poliovirus as well other diseases.
He was speaking in Yaounde on Tuesday, October 13 at the end of the second round of vaccination in six regions of the country; Littoral, East, Adamawa, Far North, Centre and North and targeted children between the ages of 0-5 years.
However, an unpleasant scene was recorded in Douala which immediately went viral on social media as a parent and health worker were tussling over the vaccination of children.
This immediately raised the issue of adequate sensistisation as some parents continue to question the necessity of a vaccination campaign given that Cameroon was recently declared wild poliovirus free.
Providing concrete answers through the press, the Minister of Public Health said there is still the looming threat of Circulating vaccine derived poliovirus-type 2 (Cvdpv-2) which is found in two countries-Pakistan and Afghanistan and can easily be imported, thus the need to keep children vaccinated.
Secondly, though Cameroon was recently declared wild poliovirus free, there are some villages and health districts where vaccination against polio has to be improved upon and others where the immunization of children has to be reinforced in order to prevent any unforeseen circumstance, the Minister of Public Health said.
He went further to confirm a few cases of type 2 poliovirus were recorded at the health districts of Bertoua, Betare Oya and Garoua Boulai(East Region), Koussseri (Far North Region), Bangué (Littoral Region), Ngog Mapubi and Biyem Assi (Centre Region) and Ebolowa (South Region).
All these show give more reasons to the government of Cameroon to intensify the vaccination campaign with the collaboration of all stakeholders, especially parents, the Minister of Public Health said.
Assessing the two phases of the campaign which just rounded off at the weekend, Dr Malachie Manaouda regretted the fact that early reports show the objectives were not attained due to lack of sufficient communication and inadequate vaccination coverage. Several households in Douala and Yaounde were reticent to the vaccination exercise while the COVID-19 scare equally forced many parents to keep their children away, the Minister said.
Despite all these, the Minister of Public Health reassured government will continue its enlarged nationwide vaccination programme and called on parents to prioritise the health and well-being of their children.
The enlarged vaccination programme comprises of vaccines against 14 diseases and are administered free of charge to the children, Dr Malachie Manaouda stressed.