Blantyre District Health Office has received k119, 349, 030 for Measles- Rubella (MR) vaccine campaign scheduled to take place from May 29 to 2 June 2017.
District Health Officer (DHO) for Blantyre, Dr Medson Matchaya said this Tuesday during a task force meeting saying the campaign has been funded by Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (Gavi Alliance) through UNICEF.
Matchaya said the campaign is targeting children aged 9 months to 14 years which represents 46 percent of the total Blantyre Population therefore parents need to participate.
“Much as we will set up sites in schools, we are very mindful of the under five children whose parents need to be present,” said Matchaya
Speaking earlier, Ministry of Health Expanded Programmes on Immunization (EPI) Manager, Geoffrey Chirwa said with the increasing measles scare in the country, government will in June administer Measles- Rubella (MR) Vaccine as most of the suspected Measles cases turned out to be Rubella.
“The laboratory results of suspected measles cases indicate that there are more Rubella cases than measles hence the introduction of MR Vaccine into routine immunization services,” said Chirwa.
He said MR will replace the current measles vaccine that is given to children at nine months of age as it will prevent both Rubella and Measles.
The Ministry of Health with support from Gavi Alliance and in collaboration with its partners will conduct national integrated Measles-Rubella Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs) from 29 May to 2 May, 2017.
After the SIA’s, the Ministry will introduce MR Vaccine in the routine immunization services in July, 2017 to ensure effective protection from Measles and Rubella Diseases.
The vaccine will be given in two doses, at nine months of age, MR 1 will be given and to children between 15 and 23 months of age, MR 2 will be administered.
Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Most people who get Rubella usually have a mild illness, with symptoms almost like those of measles that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
Moreover, Rubella can cause miscarriages or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is infected when pregnant.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :