Egyptian Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar launches vaccination campaign against polio.
The campaign aims to vaccinate 16 million children against the disease, the minister said, and targets both Egyptian and non-Egyptian resident children aged five years and under.
Egypt has more than 9 million migrants and host community members from 133 countries, according to a statement released by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in August, amounting to nearly 8 percent of the country’s total population -- which stands at 104 million.
The aim is to raise herd immunity in children and maintain a polio-free Egypt, the minister confirmed.
The country has been declared polio-free since 2006 in accordance with the standards set by the World Health Organisation, with the last case recorded in 2004.
The campaign will run until Wednesday, with possibility of an extension to guarantee that all targeted children receive vaccination, the minister said.
Abdel-Ghaffar said that the vaccinations will take place across the country at the ministry’s offices and health units.
Vaccinations will also be provided by mobile medical teams stationed at major squares, train and metro stations, public parks as well we near mosques, churches, sports clubs and markets.
The health minister added that there will also be medical personnel going door-to-door from 8am to 5pm to ensure that all children receive the vaccination.
He stressed that the medical teams are composed of 90,000 highly trained and well-equipped individuals to carry out the campaign.
He also said that surveillance units are present in all governorates to monitor and contain any and all outbreaks, especially polio.