Preventing Polio

(The Government of South Africa)
Summary
This brochure explains why it is important for all children to receive polio vaccinations.
WHAT IS POLIO?

  • Polio is an illness that causes sudden weakness/lameness of the limbs and sometimes death in children.
  • The polio virus can be passed easily from one person to another.
  • The polio virus affects mostly children below 5 years.

PREVENT POLIO

  • Polio can be prevented by immunisation with polio drops at birth, 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 18 months and 5 years of age.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IT MAY BE POLIO?

  • Polio causes sudden weakness or inability to use a leg and/or arm.
  • In children who are too young to walk, the mother may notice that one of the legs appears floppy and weak.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

  • Community members and parents can help by immediately reporting any child who develops weakness of either an arm and/or leg (without any injury), to the nearest clinic or hospital
  • When a patient with such weakness is taken to hospital, tests are done to ensure it is not polio
  • All parents and care givers must take their children to the clinic for polio drops at the correct age

REMEMBER!

  • Polio can be prevented
  • A deformity caused by polio cannot be reversed – it is there for life.
  • A child is fully protected against polio if he/she gets all prescribed vaccine doses at the correct ages.
  • Immunisation is free at all Public health facilities.
  • Immunisation is the most precious gift that we can give to our children.


For further information please contact your nearest hospital, primary health care centre or clinic.


CONTACT DETAILS
Expanded Programme on Immunisation
Department of Health
Private bag X828
PRETORIA
0001

EPI National Office:
Tel: 012 312 3174 / 0099 / 0111
Fax: 012 312 3110/3109
www.health.gov.za

PROVINCIAL CONTACTS

Free State
Tel: 051 430 1933
Fax: 051 448 7730

Gauteng
Tel: 011 335 3867
Fax: 011355 3381

KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 031 332 2425
Fax: 031 332 6135

Mpumalanga
Tel: 013 2352 108
Fax: 013 235 1044

Northern Cape
Tel: 053 830 0699
Fax: 053 832 4547

Limpopo
Tel: 015 293 6061
Fax: 015 295 9917

North West
Tel: 018 392 2600 x135
Fax: 018 397 2627

Western Cape
Tel: 021 483 4266
Fax: 021 483 4345

expanded programme on immunisaton logo

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014