COTONOU, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Benin is set to launch the second phase of the national anti-polio vaccination campaign which runs from Friday to Sunday, in which it targets to vaccinate about 2 million children aged between 1 to 5 years across the national territory, the country's health ministry said.
Benin's Health Minister Kinde Gazard said on Thursday that through a global initiative meant to eliminate polio, Benin's government in collaboration with its technical and financial partners, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF), the European Union (EU), the Rotary International and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have organized national days for vaccination against polio.
The minister said that vaccination agents will pass through each house between Oct. 19 and Oct. 21 for the second phase and between Dec. 7 and Dec. 9 for the third phase of the 17th edition of polio vaccination.
In January 2012, the executive council of WHO declared that the fight against polio will be enhanced in the course of the year 2012, to ensure that the disease is eradicated. Due to this initiative, synchronized National Vaccination Days against polio were set between the months of March and April, October and December within the African sub-region.
A source within Benin's health ministry who did not wish to be named said that polio had almost been contained in the country but its proximity to some neighboring countries still poses problems to the health ministry's efforts.