The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) is mobilising influential target groups in the Western Highlands to help spread the message on polio and how to avoid catching the virus.
It is engaging groups such as church pastors, councillors and teachers throughout the province to spread the message as it believes they have a lot of influence in their respective communities.
The Authority’s health promotion team, headed by its deputy director, Fredah Pyanyo has been working tirelessly to try and reach all parts of the province to get the message across that polio is dangerous and that there is no cure for it and must be avoided at all cost.
The team has been meeting with the selected groups at the Holy Trinity Teacher’s College’s Ross Meere Hall over the last week, telling them of how the virus spreads and what people need to do to avoid catching it.
The groups were told that polio spreads through the stool of an infected person and advised them to tell their people to keep their households and the surroundings hygienically clean, avoid drinking contaminated water, have one toilet per household, use clean cooking utensils to cook and eat with and wash hands after using a toilet and before eating.
The health team showed the respective groups, photographs of paralysed children and diagrams on how the virus spreads and the participants acknowledged everything and pledged to do their part by telling their communities how to avoid the disease and live happy lives.
The pastors, councillors and teachers were told that vaccination was the only means to stop the spread of polio and urged them to tell parents to take their children under 15 years to their nearest health clinics to have them vaccinated.
The health team advised that the second round of the nationwide vaccination would be conducted from 1-14 October and the third round from 29th October to 11th November and further advised that all children under 15 years must be vaccinated during all three rounds to stay safe.