Polio immunisation targets northeast

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 September 2002, 13:27 GMT]
More than three hundred thousand children under five years of age in Sri Lanka’s northeast province were immunized against Polio Saturday, health officials said.

The health ministry officials have identified the northeast as a high-risk area due to the recent inflow of tourists and displaced, sources said. The anti-polio campaign was held in all the districts in the province: Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.

"This is a precautionary measure to prevent an outbreak of polio in children. After the ceasefire came into effect there has been an influx of internally displaced people and returnees from abroad into the northeast increasing the danger of the disease spreading," health authority sources said.

Polio immunisation 1


The first dose of drops was given Saturday and the second dose will be given on October 26, said provincial health ministry officials.

Several centres were organized in schools, community centres and other public places to immunize the children in the northeast including the areas held by the Liberation Tigers, they said.

The programme was conducted jointly by the Epidemiological Unit of the Ministry of Health under the guidance of the UN childrens’ agency, UNICEF, and was sponsored by the Rotary Movement.

Polio immunisation 3


Prior to the ceasefire, international aid workers had to negotiate a temporary truce for two days between the LTTE and Sri Lanka Government to conduct the annual vaccination effort in the north east.


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