Joyce Banda Foundation, an international private school in Chimwankhunda, Blantyre has stunned parents after it joined sensitization in the ongoing Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign the government and its partners rolled on Monday after Minister of Health Dr. Peter Kumpalume launched in Kasungu last Friday.
JBF head teacher responsible for the primary schools Mr. James Mulonga said that the international school which has students from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, among others, stamped notices on all strategic places at the school and made further communications to the parents so that they plan to take their pupils and wards during the 12 to 16 June 2017 five day period.
“Fortunately the pupils are on holiday and no parent will have an excuse because the government and its partners have also put so many centers across the country,” said Mulonga, adding special arrangements for pupils who have not gone on holiday has also put in place to get them vaccinated and receive the necessary dosages.
The Malawi Government has in the 2017 Measles-Rubella vaccine campaign, and the integrated Measles-Rubella (MR) campaign included three interventions; Measles-Rubella vaccination targeted children aged 9 months to 15 years while for Vitamin A targeted children aged 6 month to 5 years, and De-Worming vaccine targeted children aged 1 to 5 years old.
During the launch of the integrated measles-rubella campaign and introduction of measles-rubella Dr. Peter Kumpalume revealed that the purpose of the Measles-Rubella vaccination is to reduce measles and rubella incidents by capturing children born after the previous measles campaign, vaccinating those who were missed during routine immunization, covering children inadequately covered by routine immunization and vaccinating those who never had Measles-Rubella vaccine.
The purpose of Vitamin A supplementation is to contribute to the availability of vitamin A, deworming tablets is to reduce morbidity by periodic treatment of eligible children from worm infestation, and the mass treatment will reduce the intensity of infestation thereby limiting soil-transmitted helminthes.
The Minister further said that with the introduction of Measles-Rubella vaccine, every child would get two doses of Measles-Rubella vaccine; the first dose (Measles-Rubella1) between 9 and 12 months of age and the second dose (Measles-Rubella2) between 15 and 23 months of age.
According to the World Health Organization measles is one of the leading causes of child mortality in many countries, and in 2015 globally measles killed an estimated 134 thousand children, mostly under the age of five, while out of 349 blood samples analysed at the Kamuzu Central Hospital one was of measles while 100 tested positive for rubella.
The JBF administration says it has always supported better healthy living because they support a healthy nation, healthy future.