Health, Africa

Burundi launches polio vaccination campaign

Eastern African nation launches 3-day catch-up immunization campaign amid reports of polio in neighboring DRC

Yvan Rukundo   | 17.03.2021
Burundi launches polio vaccination campaign

BUJUMBURA, Burundi

Burundian health authorities on Wednesday launched a three-day polio vaccination campaign aiming to immunize over 600,000 children throughout the country.

"In all, 675,962 children born in the period of June 2016 and June 2018 will be vaccinated. They are between three years and four years nine months old," said Olivier Nijimbere, head of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

Nijimbere told Anadolu Agency that the vaccine would be administered in all health centers and other places chosen by officials.

He said the initiative was a catch-up campaign aimed at children who had been unable to get the jab due to a global shortage between June 2016 and March 2018.

The campaign comes amid reports of polio cases in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), neighboring Burundi.

Despite the closure of borders due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Nijimbere stressed that illegal crossings between the two countries could be the source of the spread of polio.

*Rodrigue Forku contributed to this story.

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