Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) health promotions officer Chrissy Banda says it plans to reach 578176 children aged below 15 years in the next polio vaccination exercise.
The nationwide vaccination campaign will run from September 13 to September 16 2023.
Speaking during a press briefing at Blantyre DHO offices on Friday, Banda said the exercise seeks to boost immunity of children under 15 against the contagious polio disease.
However, she decried vaccine hesitancy as one of the challenges during the previous campaign conducted in June.
“Therefore, we urge parents and guardians to allow their children to receive the vaccines because they [vaccines] are safe,” said Banda.
During the press briefing, she also gave a cholera update in the district, saying Blantyre registered a case in August.
“As such, we cannot be declared a cholera-free district yet, until 14 days elapse without registering another case,” she said.
Banda said the district has cumulatively registered 8 936 cases since March 2022 when the country first registered its first cholera case at Machinga District Hospital.
Hendrina Manjombe, a Ndirande Township resident, said she was ready to have her children vaccinated against polio.
“I urge my fellow parents to get their children ready for the immunisation campaign,” she said.
In a separate interview, health rights activist George Jobe asked parents to allow their children to receive the polio vaccine.
“Malawians should not listen to anyone else other than health officials about vaccines. These vaccines are safe and do not have any side effects,” he said.