22,928 CHILDREN VACCINATED IN LABUAN POLIO CAMPAIGN

LABUAN: A total of 22,928 children aged 13 and below here have received the first dose of bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) since the mass polio immunisation campaign began last month.

Of the number, 81.5 per cent or 19,775 were Malaysians and the remaining 3,153 were non-Malaysians.

Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari said the campaign to get children go for oral vaccine would go on until it reached the target of 32,131 children.

“Our achievement in the polio immunisation campaign is at 71.4 per cent which is below the desired mark, so we will continue to conduct house-to-house visits especially at temporary refugee settlements in Kiamsam and Kg Muslim while the second dose of bOPV will commence on July 13,” he said when briefing Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba at the Health Department multipurpose hall here today.

He said the campaign was an initiative of the department to free Labuan of the polio infection.

“The campaign was launched following the discovery of polio virus in the sewage water samples which was confirmed by World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratories in Australia,” he said.

Dr Ismuni Bohari denied the existence of polio cases in Labuan as mentioned in earlier news report even though polio virus was detected in the sewage system.

“We have yet to record any polio cases involving children in Labuan so far, and this is also based on the surveillance for the Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) and random screening on 41 healthy children aged five and below.

“To effectively curb the polio virus, we conducting two dosages on children orally,” he said.

Dr Ismuni also disclosed that dengue cases here have significantly declined in the last three years with 95 cases in 2018, and dropping by 64 per cent or 34 cases in 2019.

“We have recorded only five cases as of June this year compared to 22 cases in the same period of last year…and no outbreak was detected,” he said.