Nationwide measles campaign

HARARE - The Ministry's of Health and Child Welfare, supported by Hellen Keller International, WHO and UNICEF this week launched a nationwide Measles Vaccination Campaign and Child Health Days, to fight a growing measles outbreak and arrest plummeting immunisation coverage.

Speaking at the launch, WHO Representative, Dr. Custodia Mandlhate called on all stakeholders to join hands in the ensuring the eradication and elimination of diseases. “We are calling for strong engagement and deep involvement of all stakeholders. Let us all join hands and renew our commitments as a caring society, caring nation.”

This year’s campaign comes against a backdrop of a mounting measles outbreak that has claimed nearly 400 lives from over 7 000 recorded cases. Immunisation coverage has significantly fallen from above 80 per cent to below 50 per cent. The 10 day massive countrywide Child Health Days campaign which runs between May 24 June 2, will reach five million Zimbabwean children under the age of fifteen with vital vaccination against measles.

Immunisation points have been set up at all hospitals, clinics, community centres, churches and schools while outreach facilities have been established to bring these services to the door step of hard to reach areas. The campaign will also provide a “catch” up facility for children who have

missed routine immunisation against polio, diphtheria, pertusis and tetanus.

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