Bad weather slows polio immunisation programme


THE progress of the polio immunisation programme in Southern Highlands is being slowed down by bad weather, says Fred Nondo, supervisor of the polio campaign for the Kagua-Erave district.
He said polio vaccination team patrols started this week for the majority of the districts due to problems in logistic arrangements and the wet season.
The bad weather is a major hindrance to the programme that was launched last week.
“Travelling into the rural areas is difficult because of the high water levels of creeks, rivers and lakes. They are rising everyday, caused by heavy rain. The province is experiencing heavy rainfall every day, sometimes it starts in the morning and continues till afternoon.
“The rising of the water levels could block off roads to Kuare and Erave LLG areas.
“If the wet season continues for the next few days, it will hinder the progress.
“My team is doing its best to cover the district as much as possible to vaccinate the targeted number of children and so far we have vaccinated 2000 (until Tuesday),” he said.
Mondo said the vaccination patrol was made more difficult with poor mobile network coverage to report their daily vaccination numbers to the provincial health authority (PHA) headquarters in Mendi at the end of everyday, which is a requirement. This is because there are no Digicel towers in some of the remote areas.”
According to the office of PHA, the total target for Southern Highlands to vaccinate children under five years old stands at more than 89,000.