The United Nations through its agency for Children (UNICEF) says it has spent US$5M on free polio vaccine for Liberian Children.
Polio is an incurable paralyzing disease contracted by children mostly under the age of five years by feeding contaminated material into the mouth. The disease resurfaced in Liberia in 2007 following eight years of none reported case. Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia recently, an official of UNICEF, Alfonzo Hague, said the US$5 million was channeled through UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) by the UN in a bid to see Liberian Children be immunized free of charge.
According to him, the UN is of the conviction that many parents would not be able to afford the price of one dose of the polio vaccine for their children if it were to be sold.
He added that the US$5 million was paid by the World governing body understanding the fact that Liberia, a poor country, cannot underwrite the cost for the polio vaccine for each child during the outbreak of polio in 2007.
The new vaccination campaign is targeted at immunizing over 9450,000 children across Liberia, with the aim of preventing polio importation from polio endemic countries by travelers.
Speaking further, Mr. Hague said the US$5million exclude the cost of this year’s campaign in which one million dosage of polio vaccine was imported into the country.
He then encouraged parents to ensure that they benefit from the free polio vaccine this year because of the cost attached.