Malawi: Govt Urges Accurate Reporting On Polio Vaccine to Avoid Immunization Hesitancy

The Ministry of Health has appealed to journalists in the country to ensure accurate reporting on polio vaccines to avoid unnecessary misinformation and misconception that may lead to public hesitancy towards the intended nationwide immunization campaign.

The ministry’s Acting Deputy Director for Preventive Health Services responsible for Health Education, Mavuto Thomas, made the appeal during a media briefing in Mponela on Friday ahead of Polio Immunization campaign launch to be held on Sunday, March 20 2022, March at Dzaleka in Dowa.

He said the media should desist from disseminating incorrect information on immunization exercise ahead to avoid misleading the public.

“Disseminating inaccurate information to the public will lead to hesitancy in the uptake of vaccines including polio,” he said.

Thomas said the media has a very big role in the polio immunization campaign to inform and educate the masses of its importance.

Expanded Immunization-Polio Program Manager, Dr Mike Chisema, emphasized the need for accurate reporting on polio immunization exercise.

“As the nation is working on the responses to contain the outbreak there is a need to report accurately on these issues,” he said.

Chisema added that the government has embarked on the polio response through immunization campaigns to make sure that children are vaccinated and protected from the devastating polio disease.

He said the damage from the disease is irreversible as it paralyses the body resulting in massive disabilities.

Therefore, Chisema said, polio vaccines are very important to avoid such scenarios in communities as well as to the nation.

Malawi had the last outbreak of Wild polio Virus (WPV1) in 1992.

It had resurfaced in 2022 with one case diagnosed on 17th February in Area 24, Lilongwe.

However, the immunization campaign, which starts tomorrow. The campaign targets 2.9 million under five children across the country.

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