Govt can manage polio outbreak, says Sir Puka

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HEALTH Minister Sir Puka Temu says the polio outbreak identified in Morobe last month is manageable and not a threat.
Sir Puka said the Government was working with its partners to contain the outbreak in Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said rolling out vaccines in the centers would cost at least K6 million.
He spoke of the need to increase the immunisation rate to 80 per cent from the current 30 per cent.
“Our immunisation rate over the last 15 years has dropped. That is why outbreaks will happen,” he said.
“We have to make sure that we go back to routine immunisation – not special immunisation.
“With routine immunisations, we are going to make sure that vaccines are here all the time
“Cold chain supply must be ready, so we are building the systems up.
“It’s manageable at the moment. It is a vaccine-related outbreak. It’s not a wild polio.
“Polio affects children. Polio is a global issue. It’s not a threat to Apec,” he said.
Sir Puka said people vaccinated following the polio outbreak who wanted to travel out of the country could do so immediately.
“Response (vaccines) is very quick,” he said..
“If you drink a drop, the intestines produce anti-bodies because it is a deactivated virus.”

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