National campaign against rubella-measles records massive success

Cries fill the air at Tsungubvi polyclinic in Glendale as children are injected as part of the Rubella –Measles vaccination campaign targeted at children between 9 and 15 which ended on Friday 2 October 2015.

By Pretty Chavango

Nursing manager in charge of City health Mrs Phillomina Chitando, on Thursday revealed that the national campaign which started on Monday 28 September 2015 and was scheduled to end on Friday 2nd of October 2015 will be extended by one day to accommodate working parents who failed to access the services during the week.

Children aged between 6 and 59 months were administered with Vitamin A supplements during the same period which seemed to be in short supply at some centres .Upon arrival at Tsungubvi Polyclinic the supplements had already run out. District Medical Officer for Concession, Christine Mugadza attributed this to the overwhelming response by parents to the call for vaccination and assured that all centres will be replenished as there was a mobile team monitoring all supplies “We have monitoring teams in place who are moving around, restocking all who have run out and relieving all who are over stocked “, she said.

With a targeted five million children nationwide, response is said to have been good despite a few cases where some parents refused to allow their children to take part in the vaccination campaign. A recent national update on the campaign reveals that out of the statistics compiled in the first three days, all vaccination points have recorded exceptional turnout with few mild to moderate adverse events following immunisation comprising of mild rashes mostly in Masvingo.

Areas like Mashonaland Central, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo recorded no adverse events following immunisations during these first three days recorded.

Most vaccination centres experienced a steady turn out during the first days, with large turnouts showing up in the late hours of the day which culminated in most nursing staff working up till six in the evening as some parents were sceptical during the initial stages.

Residents in the Concession area reported that they were well informed of the campaign two weeks before it started and were briefed on the whole process .Leaders of the Marange apostolic sect were encouraged to call upon their congregants to bring their children for vaccination. The Muslim community also showed a positive turn out.

Dr Magadza said after targeting 99,000 children, 40% were already immunised by the second day of the campaign. The area had 33 static teams and 10 mobile sites in Mazowe which catered for the hard to reach areas to ensure every child was covered.

Parents had been urged to make take advantage of the last day of immunisation.

The rubella vaccine comes as a first time event in Zimbabwe aimed at curbing child mortality.