The National Polio and Measles and Polio Campaign takes place annually:
The first round was from 29 April to 17 May 2013.
All children under five years received an additional dose of polio drops.
Children from nine months to 59 months (under 5 years) will also receive an additional dose of measles vaccine.
The second round is will take place from the 17 to 28 June,
a second round of polio drops will be given to the under five years.
Professional Nurses will visit schools, crèches and day care centres. Parents of these children will be requested to sign consent. Children can also be taken to the nearest clinic for the immunisations. The vaccines are free and no Road to Health Charts (baby cards) is required. The children’s fingers will be marked after they received the vaccines.
Why a Polio and Measles campaign?
South Africa had more cases of measles in the years 2009 to 2011 than the years before that. Measles can be a serious disease. It can cause blindness, hearing problems, brain damage, pneumonia and even death.
Right now, many children have received one or two doses of measles vaccine during their first two years of life. Those doses work in about 9 out of 10 children. Outbreaks may still occur amongst those that were not immunised or amongst those in whom the vaccine did not work.
There are three countries in the world where polio is endemic. They are Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Currently South Africa has a polio free status. The World Health Organisation set the goal to eradicate Polio globally by 2015. The polio and measles campaign is one of the national strategies to eradicate these diseases.
What is causing measles?
Measles is a virus and is spread by droplets. If a person is sick with measles and he sneezes, coughs or even kisses a person, the virus can be transmitted to a healthy person. The virus is very infectious. The only way to prevent measles is by immunisations.