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More Than 110,000 Children Vaccinated

More Than 110,000 Children Vaccinated
Health worker during the iimmunisation rollout campaign at the Veiuto Primary School, Suva in May. Photo: Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
August 08
14:31 2018

One-hundred and ten thousand children and teenagers aged between one to 19 years have been vaccinated through the  National Meningococcal (Men C) Immunisation Programme.

And appreciation has been conveyed to the Fijian Government for coordinating the  programme which has been rolled throughout Fiji.

The programme, which initially started in the Central Division and Ra Subdivision on May 14 this year has seen children and teenagers aged between one to 19 years being vaccinated.

The nation-wide mass immunisation campaign led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Men-C immunisation programme aims to immunise all children and teenagers in Fiji aged between one to 19 years of age, free of cost.

It is conducted at schools, kindergartens, health centres and nursing stations across Fiji.

The rollout in the Western Division started last month on July 11 and the Northern Division rollout started last week.

Reports received from the Western Division confirmed that more than 25,000 children and teenagers have been immunised within two weeks of the programme.

A 55-year-old grandmother, Arieta Lolorua of Korolevu, Sigatoka was grateful that her two-year-old granddaughter got immunised for Men-C at the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Clinic at the Sigatoka Hospital, last week.

She expressed her gratitude to the Fijian Government for reaching out to the targeted age group with the immunisation programme.

“I would like to thank the Government for providing the MenC vaccines for free,” Mrs Lolorua said.

“We are very fortunate that we received these vaccines in time so that our children and grandchildren can receive the best care and protection against life-threatening diseases like MenC.”

Anita Kumari of Sigatoka was also thankful to the Sigatoka health team for immunising her grandson with the vaccine.

“We have heard over the news that Men-C is a serious disease,” Mrs Kumari said.

“That’s why it’s important for parents to ensure that their children are given the consent to be vaccinated.

“We are really fortunate that this vaccine has been provided to us at no cost at all by the Government.”

Speaking on behalf of the MenC Immunisation team in Sigatoka, Lisi Koveni said that within two weeks of the programme her team has immunised more than 3000 children and teenagers.

“Since we began this MenC Immunisation Programme in July, there has been a positive response by the communities and parents,” Mrs Koveni said.

“On a daily basis we are able to immunise 30 to 50 children here at the MCH Clinic and our target is to reach out to 14,000 children and teenagers aged one to 19 years.

“Our team does the immunisation at the schools, health centres and also out in the communities during the outreach visitations.

“The awareness through media has been helpful in terms of ensuring that people are aware of the immunisation programme.

“We are determined to reach out to the remote communities because our teams work closely with the village headmen as well as tikina and advisory counsellors,”

Meanwhile the Health Ministry would like to remind the general public that Men.C Immunisation is safe, effective, and it saves lives.

Families are advised to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of the meningococcal disease and practise proper hygiene to prevent it from spreading.

Men-C is treatable when detected in its early stages. Early detection is the key to survival. If there is any sign of meningococcal, immediately go to a health facility to be assessed.

Source: Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

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