His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health, emphasized that the UAE is polio free and did not register any cases since 1992. Following the directives of the World Health Organization, the UAE continues to be one of the polio free countries thanks to precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Health to control the nation from the disease and protect the society.
His Excellency the UAE Minister of Health assured the importance of implementing the national immunization campaign in all the emirates either by providing immunization dozes or national campaigns.
In this regard, the Ministry of Health organized a press conference, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi and Dubai Health Authorities yesterday morning “Wednesday 12th November” at the premises of the Ministry of Health to launch the UAE polio national campaign, not complimentary in the national immunization program but an additional booster that would increase the immunity of children.
“The ministry prepared a clear strategy in November and December to target 416.000 child depending on the positive participation and coordination between all the partners of the campaign, distribution of work, transparency and societal participation and efforts to achieve the successful results of the campaign. Our working plan includes supervision and follow up from all the committees and included regular visits to ensure the adequate implementation of the campaign”, his Excellency added.
His Excellency reiterated the important success of the campaign reassuring the efforts of all the partners of the campaign and role reassuring that the Ministry of Health was very keen, from the beginning, to cooperate with the federal ministries and government authorities to provide comprehensive immunization coverage for every child, all this is for the safety of our children in the UAE.
Furthermore, Dr. Hussein Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Clinics and Health Centers and chair of the organizing committee, said: “Since the immunization support campaigns are the fastest ways for increasing immunization rates and protection, the Ministry of Health cooperates with Abu Dhabi and Dubai Health Authorities to launch the campaign being an additional booster to routine immunization”.
Dr. Al Rand stated that the purpose of the UAE national immunization campaign is to promote immunization against polio, enhance societal immunization to prevent the dissemination of polio among children, fight the entry of the virus to the UAE, achieve immunization coverage for more than 90% of the targeted audience. All this can be accomplished through a national campaign to ensure its success and completion.
Dr. Al Rand added that the campaign targets children of UAE nationals and expatriates aged 4 months to 5 years. The National Polio Campaign aims to strengthen children’s immunity against polio and to eradicate the disease.
The national UAE immunization campaign attracts all the targeted audience regardless of the previous vaccination history and excluding some cases for medical reasons. The campaign will also include fixed sites, clinics and centers in addition to participating schools. It will also include field sites for inaccessible categories.
Dr. Al Rand indicated that the organizing committee was keen to ensure the safety of the immunization doses during the campaign and full support to all members. It also trained all the campaign’s members to implement and follow up the coverage of the targeted population groups, give them high priority and assess the implementation of all stages, ask for the assistance of international organizations to conduct an independent evaluation of the campaign along with the technical support for the planning, implementation and assessments of long-term periods.
“The campaign targets 416 child in the UAE whereas the members of the immunization teams reached 116 team members. Additionally, the number of central supervisors reached 20 while local supervisors are 23 with an average of one local supervisor for every 5 teams. All team members will work morning and evening shifts on condition they are organized by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with Abu Dhabi and Dubai Health Authorities. All our efforts will maintain the declaration of the UAE polio free”, he concluded.