FIJI NEWS

New vaccines for infants

By TALEBULA KATE Yesterday, representatives from the Ministry of Health, AusAID, and World Health Organisation witnessed the introduction of two new vaccines for infants at the Valelevu Maternal Child Health
30 Oct 2012 10:11

By TALEBULA KATE

Yesterday, representatives from the Ministry of Health, AusAID, and World Health Organisation witnessed the introduction of two new vaccines for infants at the Valelevu Maternal Child Health clinic.
The introduction of these new vaccines is in line with the World Health Organisation recommendations that effective vaccines be introduced into national immunisation programmes to guarantee maximum benefits.
Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma was on hand to help vaccinate the infants with the help of medical staff at Valelevu Health Centre.
“This is an event which is history in the making, in fact today 11 vaccines will be made available to our children and we will have a safer passage from childhood to adulthood,” Dr Sharma said.
“Today we have introduced two new vaccines into the Fiji immunisation schedule namely rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines.”
The pneumococcal conjucate vaccine will improve the lives of many children by preventing the most common causes of child mortality and morbidity in Fiji.
The new vaccines will target some of the biggest causes of death and disease in Fiji’s children namely, pneumonia, meningitis and gastroenteritis.
The vaccines were made possible through a four-year cost-sharing agreement between the Ministry of Health and AusAID.
Babies born from September 17 will be the first to be immunised at maternal child health clinics throughout the country.
In Term One of the 2013 school year, the Ministry of Health will begin immunisation of girls in the last year of primary school in order to combat the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer.
Under the four-year cost-sharing agreement these highly complex and sophisticated immunisation would reach those in Fiji who were most vulnerable through the expanded programme on immunisation.
Around 22,000 new babies will be immunised each year.




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