Keeping Liberia polio free …

“Ensure your children are immunized against this crippling disease” urged the Miniser of Health and Social Welfare – Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale – at the signing ceremony that  took place at the G.W. Gibson High School, auditorium, some 2 hundred meters from the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare (MOH&SW) premises in Monrovia, on Friday May 7, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. 

The occasion was well attended by representatives of WHO and the United Nations families, Officials of Government, the Press, Rotarians and students. It was characterized by cultural and musical performances by the Crusaders for Peace and Cultural Troupe (right and below). 

The Crusaders for Peace have been a strong partner for the NIDS in Liberia in the area of social mobilization.

Speaking at the ceremony, the WHO Representative to Liberia, Country Representative, Dr. Nestor Ndayimireji, called for collaborative measures to fight against the spread of the disease.  The WHO boss noted that it requires efforts of all stakeholders including parents, to fight against the eradication of Polio in Liberia.  Dr. Ndayimireji stressed the need to kick polio out of Africa and called for the joint efforts of both the international and national partners for ensuring that the attention of the world against polio remains focused.  The global initiative is geared towards making sure that all children in Liberia and the world over, under five years are vaccinated, even if the child has been vaccinated before.

Handing the ball to MOH&SW Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, NPPC Chair, David Vinton gave a brief journey of the ball since February 23, 2010. He said that Liberia was the 16th of the 22 polio-affected countries in Africa through which the ball is expected to travel.  He handed the ball over to Minister Gwenigale who signed the ball.

Dr. Gwenigale stated that the symbolic act of using football is important because “we are going to kick polio out of Liberia”.  He said that Liberia was once certified as being polio free, but because of people’s misconception of the polio vaccine, this has caused polio to resurface in Liberia.  One case has been reported (compared with zero cases for the same period in 2009). Onset of paralysis of most recent case: 03 Mar 2010


Next stop:  Freetown, Sierre Leone  …


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