WINDHOEK, 04 JUN – The Ministry of Health and Social Services has called on parents and guardians to take children who missed their routine immunisation for vaccination at health facilities.
The call is targeting children aged 0-5 as part of the Namibian commemoration of African Vaccination Week (AVW) from 04 to 08 June 2018.
Health Deputy Minister, Juliet Kavetuna here on Monday said the AVW commemoration under the theme ‘Vaccine works, do your part’ serves to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination in reducing child morbidity and mortality.
Kavetuna also called on females aged 15 to 45 who missed their tetanus shots to visit their nearest health facilities for vaccination.
“The commemoration is to ensure that those who missed out on routine vaccination and those due are given an opportunity in order to attain and sustain high immunisation coverage,” said Kavetuna.
She noted that children should be accompanied by their health passports to help identify the missed vaccinations.
Also speaking at the launch of the week, World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Charles Moses said the commemoration aims to keep immunisation high on national and regional agendas through advocacy and partnerships.
“Immunisation is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions as it prevents an estimated 800 000 deaths in Africa,” he noted.
Moses said diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, pneumococcus and diarrhoea due to rotavirus can be prevented if children are given vaccinations as intended.
In Namibia, AVW has been commemorated annually since 2011 in an effort to raise awareness of the need and rights of all people, particularly children and women, to be protected from diseases which can be prevented by vaccines.