Polio Vaccination Campaign


Waiting to be vaccinated

Two weeks ago, from Thursday to Saturday, a polio vaccination campaign was held throughout the entire Ubangi-Mongala region. Marta Klein, Covenant short-term missionary physician’s assistant who is in Gemena with us learning Lingala, walked around the neighborhood with the vaccination team and took these pictures. Following a polio outbreak early in the year, the government medical services realized a need to make sure that children ages 5 and under were vaccinated, so they organized this campaign. They recognized that their record-keeping was deficient and that many children had not been vaccinated. As a result every public health zone in the region was involved in the campaign as they made plans to go house to house and vaccinate every child under 5.


Polio Vaccination Campaign

Marta said that each home visit didn’t take long. Prior to the campaign, the team had done a census to know where the kids under five were. Then during the campaign they went to those houses and gave each under 5 two drops of the vaccine. The team would take careful notes of the families and kids that were vaccinated. They would also put a chalk mark on the doors of the house to indicate that they had been there and the number of kids vaccinated.

I can touch my ear

Have you ever seen this way of determining the age of a small child? Marta explained that generally once a child is five years old they can reach one arm over the top of their head and touch their opposite ear. But she also said the method is not foolproof as very malnourished kids probably don’t come out correctly. Nonetheless very simple to do and it requires no equipment.

I can't touch my ear

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