Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health has finalized preparations to immunize more than 13 million children under the age of five in the country against polio. The ministry’s Director for Maternal and Child Health, Dr Tewodros Bekele, said here Tuesday that the four-day vaccination campaign would begin Thursday and cover the the whole country.
He added that Ethiopia had planned to immunise all children under five following the outbreak of polio in neighbouring countries.
He urged parents, government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious bodies and the media to contribute their share towards the achievement of the goal.
He said various activities being carried out over the past years towards improving children’s health had enabled the country to reduce child mortality by two third.
Immunisation service provided by health extension workers on a regular basis and vaccination campaigns had helped the country to reduce child mortality.
In Ethiopia, 90 per cent of deaths among children under fives was from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Ethiopia has been working to reduce under-five mortality rates to 67 per thousand live births by 2015 from 123 per thousand live births in 2007/8. The country has also managed to raise the rate of full immunization coverage of children.