28% polio vaccination achieved in 1 month despite challenges, says health DG

A total of 109,232 children aged five years and below out of 391,040 in Sabah have received oral polio vaccination. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: A total of 109,232 children aged five years and below have been given oral polio vaccination since the Sabah anti-polio campaign was launched a month ago.

Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said they account for 27.93% of the 391,040 children of the age group in all 25 Sabah districts involved in the Supplementary Immunisation Activity (SIA).

“The implementation of the SIA in several districts has been challenging in terms of logistics and safety of the health workers.

“Some areas could only be reached by boats, travelling up river as far as 3km to reach the designated village.

“I would like to thank all health staff and volunteers on the field who are hard at work saving the nation from polio … they are the unsung heroes,” he said in a statement marking one month since the launch of the anti-polio campaign on Dec 27.

The SIA is the second phase activity implemented by the health ministry to contain and prevent the spread of the polio virus in Sabah. The oral polio vaccine is given to children age five and below as the first immunisation.

So far, there have been three confirmed polio cases in Sabah – one in Tuaran, one in Kinabatangan and one in Sandakan.