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Zim First: Measles-rubella Vaccination Campaign Starts

For the next five days, the Zimbabwe health ministry will embark on a new measles-rubella vaccine countrywide campaign.

The roll out set to occur in all health institutions, primary and secondary schools will target all children between nine and 15 years.

In addition, children below 59 months will be administered with Vitamin A supplement.

A first for Zimbabwe

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, this year’s national immunisation days were triggered by the quest to eliminate measles and protect children against rubella virus infection.

“This creates a nationwide immunity against measles, introduce rubella virus for the first time in Zimbabwe and reduce rubella infection in children,” revealed Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa.

Understanding rubella
The infection is fatal. In pregnant women, rubella causes foetal abnormalities such as congenital heart defects, blindness and deafness. 

In addition, measles is a highly contagious viral respiratory infection that causes high fever, skin rash, running nose, watery eyes and a cough. The disease mainly affects children below the age of five years.

Measles in unprotected children is serious and can cause severe diarrhoea leading to dehydration, blindness to those with inadequate Vitamin A intake, inflammation of the middle ear, brain damage and death due to pneumonia.

It’s your child’s right
Last year, Government recorded 1 024 cases of rubella. The main symptom of rubella is a rash, pink or light red on the face, which then spreads to the chest, stomach, back, arms and legs. 

Within about three days, the rash goes away with no staining or peeling of the skin and after it has cleared up the skin may shed small flakes.

Sadly, some religious sects within Zimbabwe are known to refuse their children the immunisation processes resulting in deaths. In collaboration with WHO and UNICEF, the government is encouraging parents to join the campaign.

“The benefits of immunising your child are numerous to you and your family. Let us be part of Zimbabwe government efforts to get rid of vaccine preventable childhood diseases,” noted the operation circular. – tinzwei.com     

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