National Polio Eradication Awareness Week
4 - 10 April
National Polio Eradication Week in South Africa is a concerted campaign led by the Department of Health to raise awareness on immunisation and the prevention of polio.
The Department recommendeds that children under the age of five be immunised against the most common childhood diseases. In 2006 the overall routine immunisation coverage for South Africa was less than 80% and some districts still had less than 60% immunisation coverage.
Dangerous childhood diseases such as measles and polio, with potential fatal complications especially in small children can be prevented most effectively. Immunisations for childhood vaccine preventable diseases are available free of charge at public health clinics.
The last case of polio was reported in South Africa in 1989. But as long as there are still cases of wild poliovirus anywhere in the world, polio can easily be imported and spread within another polio free country if all children have not been fully vaccinated.
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