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Health Professionals Prepare For Men-C Vaccination Campaign

Health Professionals Prepare For  Men-C Vaccination Campaign
Nurses and health professionals from the Central Ddivision and Ra subdivision at the training in Suva on Monday. Photo: Ministry of Health and Medical Services
May 10
10:00 2018

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will conduct a nationwide vaccination campaign for Meningococcal disease, targeting children from the ages of one year to 19 years.

The purpose of the vaccination is to protect individual children who may be susceptible to the infection and to control the current outbreak.

Meningococcal disease is an acute bacterial infection that can cause death within hours if not recognised and treated in time .

The vaccination campaign will start on May 14, 2018 in the Central Division and Ra Subdivision.

The Men-C vaccination campaign will continue throughout all the other divisions untill the vaccination of all children within the targeted age group is completed.

As part of the preparation plans, the Health Ministry has organised two days training this week for the nurses who will be involved in the Men-C Vaccination campaign.

The training held in Suva started on Monday and was attended by 60 nurses from Central Division and Ra Subdivision health facilities.

The ministry’s national advisor family health Dr Torika Tamani,  said the training was to empower the nurses and health professionals on the finer details of Men-C Vaccine and strategise on the operational plan for conducting this mass immunisation campaign.

“In terms of the participants we are having nurses from the central division including Ra medical subdivision in the western division,” Dr Tamani said.

“As we progress with the rollout of the Men-C vaccine, we will also conduct similar trainings for the western, northern and the eastern teams.

“Discussions focussed on conducting vaccinations through schools and health facilities. Those children outside school settings can get vaccinated at the health facilities.

“Estimated number of students to be vaccinated would be around 110,000 from primary and secondary, kindergarten, special schools and private schools based within the central and Ra subdivision.

“We have chosen vaccination in the central division and Ra subdivision based on the prevalence of the current outbreak of Men-C.

“We need to also use the 124,000 doses so it can free up the cold chain space for the next batch of the 200,000 doses that will be arriving later in the month,” Dr Tamani said.

The ministry has assured on the safety of the Men-C vaccines and is encouraging parents and guardians to have their children vaccinated. Consent forms in three languages, will be made available.

“The vaccine is very safe and because of the seriousness of the

Men-C disease itself we are encouraging parents to agree to the vaccination of their child,” Dr Tamani said.

“Like all medications, vaccines may have minor reactions. It lasts a short time and does not lead to any long-term problems.

“Possible side effects of meningococcal vaccine may include soreness, redness and swelling , fever, loss of appetite and headache. These side effects should last only for a short time. More serious side effects are extremely rare.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

 

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