Staff Reporter – The Zimbabwe Daily

Luanda, Angola – More than 1.9 million children have been vaccinated against polio in the past week.

To date, more than 13 000 people across the country’s 18 provinces have since launched vaccination campaigns aimed at targeting children under the age of 5.

However, although progress is being made in Angola, the World Health Organization (WHO) has bemoaned the COVID-19 pandemic which has made it difficult for children to be properly vaccinated.

“In many polio infected countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted polio surveillance to a varying extent, sometimes significantly, resulting in an unusual degree of uncertainty regarding the current true polio epidemiology. 

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Furthermore, routine immunisation has also been adversely affected by the pandemic in many countries.  There is evidence that in some polio infected countries, the pandemic may yet to have peaked.  As international travel begins to return, there is unknown risk of exportation of polio viruses. 

Moreso, there are many other challenges ahead, such as the effect of COVID-19 on community trust and support for immunization, the possibility of other epidemics such as measles, the risks to front-line workers and how these can be managed, and the risk of immunization activities being associated with COVID-19 outbreaks, either truly or spuriously,” read part of the statement issued out by WHO.

According to WHO, Angola is amongst one of the 14 African countries that are facing rare outbreaks of a circulating vaccine derived polio virus