UNICEF recently congratulated the United Republic of Tanzania for attaining certification as a polio-free nation.
This step, a significant achievement in the goal for wordlwide polio elimination, was made possible through UNICEF, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
One important measure was reaching every child in Tanzania with the nation’s vaccination services.
“The last case of polio was in 1996,” Dr. Donan Mmbando, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said. “This does not mean polio surveillance will not go on, it will continue. Vaccine coverage has been maintained at 90 percent nationally; this has enabled attainment of Millennium Development Goal 4.”
Communities were also able to coordinate their work in providing the residents with routine vaccinations at several different health facilities. This was especially important for areas that are at a higher risk for contracting the disease.
“I would like to congratulate all health workers, development partners such UNICEF, WHO and GAVI, for without this collaborative effort we wouldn’t have reached a milestone,” Mmbando said. “The government will keep on investing in immunization services to ensure availability of reliable immunization services.”