Papua New Guineans travelling overseas required to get polio vaccination

PORT MORESBY (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinean travelling overseas are required to get a polio vaccination.

And they must provide their own cards to certify vaccination, it is not the responsibility of the Health Department nor the hospitals.

Manager disease control and surveillance/international health regulations focal person Dr Berry Ropa said this when giving an update of the polio vaccination for travellers that are being currently provided at the two main public hospitals in the Nation’s Capital.

“That means people seeking vaccine must bring their own cards and there is no shortage of vaccine.

“Port Moresby General Hospital and Gerehu General Hospital are the designated hospitals to provide this additional service to the public who want to travel,” he said.

According to Dr Ropa, the following are the facts about the vaccination for travellers:

– Initial 500 doses of oral polio vaccine supplied with 500 each vaccination cards;

– Vaccine is reply up on reports from the hospitals; and

– Vaccine is free, charges of K12.50 (US$3.80) is for consultation as required under the approved hospital consultation fees.

Dr Mathias Bauri, who is the program officer for expanded program on immunisation, said 50 vials consisting of 10 dose vial each was packed for the two hospitals.

“I also delivered 500 national certificate of vaccinations booklet to Port Moresby General Hospital and Gerehu General Hospital also received 500.

“Both hospitals have picked up the OPV for travellers at the area medical store two weeks ago as per information from AMS.

“The vaccines were labeled to Sister Carol of Director Nursing Services at PMGH and Dr Gary Nou at Gerehu hospital.

“We have not received any new request for additional vaccines from these hospitals after the initial issuance,” he said.

He said OPV is oral polio vaccine, that is advised by the Health Department for travellers to take before they travel to countries that require polio vaccination.

“This needs to be accompanied with a certificate signed and stamped by the health organisation.

“IPV is the injectable, or inactivated polio, vaccine and that is given for routine EPI immunisation for children three months of age,” he said.

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