Havana, Mar 5. -The 50th National Polio Vaccine Campaign begins Friday in Cuba, with the goal of immunizing more than 500,000 children.
According to reports from the Public Health Ministry, the program has two stages, the first running March 4-10, and the second, April 22-28.
Some 372,000 children under the age of 3 will receive two doses (in drops) of the vaccine, while reactivation will be for 134,377 9-year-olds (up to 11 months and 29 days).
The objective of the vaccine campaign, which coincides with a second phase of the 9th Vaccination Week in the Americas, is to protect Cubans from polio, a crippling disease.
Cuba started the first polio campaign in 1962, and over 79 million doses have been administrated since, so a large part of the Cuban population is currently protected against that disease that was a serious health threat before the triumph of the Revolution.
The strategy used by the government and health authorities, supported by grass-root organizations, made it possible to gradually eradicate polio completely.
The Pan-American Health Organization and International Commission for the Certification of Polio Eradication presented Cuba with the Polio Eradication Certificate on April 9, 1995.
Cuba has also eliminated other eight infectious diseases: malaria, whooping cough, rubella, neonatal tetanus, diphtheria, measles, congenital rubella syndrome, and post-parotitis meningoencephalitis.
Moreover there are so few infections from Haemophilus influenzae type B, hepatitis B and meningococcical meningitis, that they are not rated as health problems. (Prensa Latina)