Rwanda administers second dose of polio vaccine for children under 7
The Rwandan Ministry of Health on Monday launched a nationwide vaccination exercise for the second dose of oral polio vaccine for children under seven years old.
According to Hassan Sibomana, head of the vaccination unit at the Rwanda Biomedical Center, the ministry's health implementing agency, the vaccination will last until Friday, targeting to reach all children in the age bracket.
"The first round of vaccination in July was highly successful, with about 2.9 million children vaccinated; we expect that all children who received the first dose will be vaccinated with the second dose," Sibomana told reporters in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
The second dose of the oral polio vaccine will also be delivered by community health workers to homesteads, Sibomana said, adding that routine vaccination will continue at health facilities after the mass vaccination.
The latest vaccination campaign in Rwanda was launched following reports of polio outbreaks in neighboring countries. The last polio case in Rwanda was reported three decades ago.
Polio, which invades the nervous system, is a highly infectious disease that can result in paralysis. It particularly attacks children under five years of age. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route.